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MLAs’ salaries too high

| 25/09/2016 | 88 Comments

Cayman News ServiceMM writes: 18 political seats x average $10,000 per month salary = $180,000 per month (KYD2,160,000 per year). These politicians are getting a law firm partner’s salary with little knowledge of law or what proper policies to put in place to encourage economic stimulus. Each and every sitting member currently knows that their last chance at a salary that high is re-election.

Where else will they go to get that kind of salary? Private sector?

And what other position within the entire Cayman Islands would pay an incompetent that kind of money each month to do almost nothing?

Cayman politics is a free-for-all ticket, a quick business investment with excellent turnover that is attractive to power-hungry and greedy individuals.

None of the presently sitting members have any chance at surviving in the real world when not protected by their six-figure salaries and ego-boosting positions in parliament.

However, if they truly are running because they want to make a change, they want to improve the lives of their people and they want to encourage business in the Cayman Islands, why not settle for CI$6,500 per month?

Is your lifestyle really so lavish that you must suck the blood from the poor people you insist you represent?

If your average constituent is middle-class or low-income families, why do you insist on living on a salary equivalent to some of the highest paid private sector positions?

The politicians are the only employees of the government making a salary equivalent to that of the private sector for a position that requires no qualification other than to be “Caymanian”. Should this not raise a red flag to voters?

If the government is struggling, why do the leaders not release some strain?

In many companies a CEO or owner will accept a pay-cut if it will help keep their ship afloat. Our leaders’ salaries appear to be the only civil servant salaries that continue to rise.

18 political seats x $6,500 per month = CI$117,000 per month (CI$1,404,000 per year), a savings of CI$756,000 per year. Perhaps this savings could be the trough where the plane tickets and travel expenses of politicians could get fed from instead of the empty cupboards of your people.

Do you love your country and people enough to live as one of your people, so that you are better able to think as one of your people, and then subsequently react as one when making your decisions and passing the laws?

And how can the voter pool be so naïve as to think that anyone who has been surviving on that kind of salary could truly understand their plight?

When some Caymanian people give up their votes for a six-pack of beer, we, the Caymanian people, deserve whatever dark ages this country enters should these buffoons be re-elected… again…

This comment was posted in response to: MLAs lament long list of laws

Category: Elections, Politics, Viewpoint

Comments (88)

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  1. Concerned Resident says:

    Here are the reasons for why an MLA should be paid well: a) They have enough to support themselves and their family and give some to the very needy people who will be asking them for help b) It makes them less inclined to try and top up their income with back-handers c) it encourages well-educated people to leave the private sector and run for government office.

    This is the reality of many people’s expenses per month – You have two kids in private school (CI$980 x 2 per month), health insurance contribution for a family (CI$800+), mortgage (or rent) CI$2000, CUC bill (CI$550), water bill (CI$70), Phone (landline and cel phone x 2 – CI$85), food (CI$800 per month), car payment (CI$300), gas (CI$200), domestic help/cleaner once a week (CI$300), savings (CI$300), credit card payment (CI$300), house maintenance costs (CI$250) = CI$7,915 and counting. I probably missed a lot. Pension contribution, entertainment, new clothes and school uniforms etc. I could go on.




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    • MM says:

      MLAs with children in private school?

      *raises eyebrow*




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    • Anonymous says:

      Politricks. MLA’s making more than doctors here on island but instead of saving lives they ruin them and the environment from poor decisions and inaction.




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  2. MM says:

    For the sake of clarity to those who remain stranded on the first paragraph of my comment – yes, we are ALL very well aware that many law firm partners earn much more than KYD$10k per month (within the larger of the local firms; which would be less than 10 of the Islands’ law firms).

    But, I believe that some people are confusing law firm partner salaries with the bonuses they receive, bonuses are not a guarantee and like all bonuses are reliant upon the contracts and earned fees the partner gained obviously and therefore I was not taking those in to account and they cannot be considered “salary”.

    However, it is safe to say (and when considering much smaller firms along with our larger ones) the AVERAGE salary is around USD$146,000+ per year – KYD$10,000 per month.

    I did not expect to need to drill down in to the varying income brackets of legal professionals in order to state my point; but it is becoming quite apparent that as a requirement of commenting on CNS it is best to go in to great detail and cover all angles because it appears (and lucky for Cayman) that people are finally beginning to question, comment and cry “BS” when necessary; the general public must be applauded for their scrutiny and I pray this thirst for information and clarity will extend in to May 2017.




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  3. Anonymous says:

    If it was possible to see a Politician in Office easily then one would not have yo hunt them down whether at home at the Bars at the church or wherever. Not everybody is hunting them down for handouts but other problems that are assigned to them . Its quite ok to visit them before an Election though with whatever problem. This is the reason why one takes things on in their own hands.




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  4. Catwoman says:

    MM for your information there are many foreign persons in the Private sector who despite having some sort of qualification (sometimes not the one noted on their W/P application) they have no idea what they’re doing are well paid and really do nothing except live the Cayman high life. Therefore your comment about the Private sector doesn’t hold water.




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    • MM says:

      The private sector pays their own employee salaries and recruits on behalf of their own companies – however, we taxpayers pay government’s expenses and are responsible for the “hiring” of representatives; the “private” sector’s business is not really any of my business and who they choose to hire and what they choose to pay impacts them.




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  5. Anonymous says:

    as an expat…i could do any of their jobs in a few hours on a saturday afternoon…….and i would do it for free……
    btw i also have more qualifications than the majority of mla’s……




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    • A Caymanian says:

      Anon 4:46, I don’t have any trouble believing the last part of your comment!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Lots of locals have the ability and the qualifications. The key is, would you get elected? Do you have what it takes to be a politician? Trump has plenty of money, Quakification and experience running multiple businesses. That doesn’t make him the best choice.




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  6. Anonymous says:

    These are the people who voted for a bill to ensure they are referred to as “The Honorable…” even after leaving office. Of all the things the country needed, that’s what they spent their time doing that day. Do you expect them to listen to anything the “not honorable” voters have to say??




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  7. really? says:

    typical Cayman. you vote these guys in and turn around and cry them down for the salary you gave them. We are really a set of crabs in a barrel. But its good for the expats to come here and make the cash. These guys are only running the country…..




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    • Anonymous says:

      Um, I don’t think any member of the Cayman public “gave them” salaries like that. Just as the perpetual “Honorable” title, the salaries I suspect were decided upon by the MLAs and “given” to themselves.

      I agree with the writer of this article. Cayman politicians are not in politics for love of Cayman and its people, they’re in it for the love of money.




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  8. lo-cal says:

    Here we go, missing the point again.

    Politicians do not run for the salary or the benefits or any of that stuff. They run for information and insight to bidding on lucrative government contracts for their private business. It does not matter what you pay them, they will still run




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  9. Political HardOn says:

    What a righteous statement CNS and the amount of value we getting out of them for their cronyism nepotism and corrupt incompetence is not only a sin its a Criminal offence for which they should be charged




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  10. Anonymous says:

    In my view the issue is that the salary is not enough to attract the brightest minds…why would a top paid lawyer or CFO or whatever take a pay cut to go run his country? They would be mad too. And hence the issue, power hungry people seek the job for the influence they can wield (and maybe “extra benefits”) and they are not the best people to do so. We all hear the stories, I have no idea if they are true, the conflicts of interest, the unaccounted for cash, the opaqueness of decision making, contracts to firms that they have interests in…. If we had the best brains then generally they would not be involved with the side business as they would be earning enough and doing a good job if we offered them more.




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  11. SSM345 says:

    Is anyone able to explain to us what Capt. Whogene does to deserve the salary he receives?




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  12. Anonymous says:

    The writer of this article said it well when it was stated “Do you love your country and people enough to live as one of your people, so that you are better able to think as one of your people, and then subsequently react as one when making your decisions and passing the laws?”

    CUT THE SALARIES AT LEAST IN HALF. NONE OF OUR POLITICIANS TRULY DESERVE SUCH A HIGH SALARY. IN DOING SO, WE WILL SURELY SEE WHO IS IN POLITICS FOR THE LOVE OF OUR COUNTRY.

    These salaries are one of the reasons why the public purse is drying up year after year. For what? The sacrifice of our people and the country at large. TIME FOR CHANGE and that includes reducing MLA salaries.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Also the heads of all govt, Authorites, wages should be cut by at least 40 per cent and chief officers and especify dist. commissioner (Brac) should be cut.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Head of cncf and his wife each get $100,000 salary….now that is a willful waste of money…start cutting there.




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  13. Anonymous says:

    Posters!! Knock it off with the ‘you have no idea what a law firm partner makes’. Who cares!!?? Do you not get the point that MM was trying to make??? How many times do you need to point out this figure being incorrect?? Once was enough Bozo’s!




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    • Anonymous says:

      It needs to be clarified bc $10K is what a junior partner makes in a week or less…it makes the whole argument pointless other than to prove the opposite, in that many of these politicians are lawyers who could be earning 4 times as much even starting out as a partner.




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  14. Anonymous says:

    A Member of Parliament in the UK earns the equivalent of CI$70,000 which is about CI$45,000 after tax. That is a bit more than a third of an MLA’s salary!




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  15. Ben Layden says:

    Not much is said about the conflicts of interest that in some instances provides fat paychecks to some of our MLA…………. and is there any corruption that may provide additional cash?




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  16. Anonymous says:

    don’t forget their pensions for life…even after one term in office…..
    getting elected here is like winning the lottery, is it not about want to serve the people…..
    just look at the likes of whogene,mac, kurt, rollie, foolio, dwayne seymour, ozzie, ju-ju…….etc
    their incompetence is a national disgrace…..




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  17. Anonymous says:

    Stop hating on the money MLA’s make look at the amount that the U.S. Senators make and what benefits they get after leaving office. We want to be first world then here is what first world does. Now go and expect likewise.

    https://www.google.com/amp/www.ibtimes.com/how-much-money-did-hillary-clinton-make-politics-speeches-pensions-book-deals-made-2390513%3famp=1




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    • MM says:

      Managing the affairs of the USA cannot be compared to a Cayman MLA presiding over a country with a 60,000 person population – and let us not forget the percentage of that salary that would have been allocated to tax.




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  18. Anonymous says:

    I think CNS should run a story about the salaries earned by Cayman MLA’s versus that of other countries to see a comparative and to put this into context.




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  19. anonymously says:

    Respectfully, the tune of your article appears to be rude. It is like you have some vendetta against politicians in Cayman. Not all politicians are “incompetent.” Not all politicians are indifferent to the needs of the people. And reducing a 10,000 salary does little for jobless people in Cayman :/




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    • Josiah Wedgewood Bodden says:

      The article does not factor in the ability of every MLA to start drawing their pension from day one. With figures like these, it is hard not to have a personal dislike for the apparent parasitical disregard shown to the voters. This is at a time when expats are being rail roadbed into leaving their pension money behind. It sickens me and it should sicken everyone else, even those on the payroll of MLA’s.
      Third world.




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    • Anonymous says:

      If those of you complaining about MLAs salary are Caymanians you should realise that any of you who has the ability to stand for election can make that choice and if you are successful before long you will realise where most of their salary goes. If you had the opportunity to work in private sector you also should know that a mere bean counter aka accountant makes a lot more than most MLA. A regular non equity attorney also earns much more than an MLA. An equity partner takes the cake!! On top of their massive salary, upon retirement can walk away with millions of dollars e.g 40 million. Some MLAs are out there fighting for those of you who want to become an equity partner to get the same opportunities. If you are not Caymanian and is a lawyer in a notable law firm you are just greedy and want it all for yourselves. You are afraid that some MLA might actually be able to shed some light on the industry so you are ridiculing them. You can change the rhetoric by doing the right thing. Also please remember that it is the Premier who convene meetings at the LA. I am sure all MLAs will show when they are called. Put this blame where it should be.




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      • Anonymous says:

        You live in cloud cuckoo land. Your post is littered with inaccurate speculation about private sector workers and their earnings.




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    • Anonymous says:

      typical caymanian attitude here…..
      will never accept any criticism of their own……




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    • Anonymous says:

      …so sayeth the politician.




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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree that the writers tone is antagonistic, but if you get that past that the writer makes a very good point. We pay them too much. Compared to other jurisdictions they are way over paid.




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  20. Anonymous says:

    No kidding it’s to much. Cut those salaries and pay it forward to the people.




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    • Anonymous says:

      poster 4:48 that is the problem with Cayman today people like you looking for handouts.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Some of you already get some of the salary, you know who you are.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Annnndddddd no one saw this coming with one man one vote?! Upped the mla count by 2. Means over 200k per year alone.

      With one man one vote. Cayman had a golden opportunity. To have the entire islands represented by 1/3rd of the MLA.

      While the other 2/3rds were given retirment packages.

      7 people in the MLA representing the people. For each district and sister island.

      But instead the reason one man one vote took so long, was to make sure no one was left out of the cookie jar.

      Now instead of having 7 areas with 7 people representing them.
      You have 18 areas with 18 people representing them. Basically getting the same level of government for almost 3 times as much.

      Yup…that makes sense.




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    • Anonymous says:

      In May, you will have an opportunity to express that sentiment clearly and in silence, where it really counts..




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    • Anonymous says:

      4:48 so it seems from your comment that we need more blood suckers sitting on their backsides expecting government to give them. We need a petition to close the CFA and let those lazy ass people get out and work.
      THERE IS NO FREE LUNCH?
      Yet, the echo is government is not doing enough. I was taught from an young age, to work and help wherever I could, stand on my two feet, use my brain and hands to help myself.




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  21. Anonymous says:

    I know one politician who in the last 12-15 years only brought one private members motion before the L A and that was to clearly indicate our speed limits signs as MPH and not KPH.

    Do you see any of our speed limits signs with that designation so it’s not confusing to our tourists ?

    Dress up politician who gives away 5 pounds of flour, two bags of sugar, 3 cans of creme and two bottles of coffee at the end of the year and these fools and their families go and vote him in every four years.

    Get paid $100,000 CI per year and gives away $5,000 CI of that for sugar and creme and that is what we call great representation by an MLA ?

    It’s no wonder expats calls some Caymanians fool fool !!!




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    • Anonymous says:

      Where the fool fool has a meaning, is when those receivers vote for incompetence. Is he the sleeping politician? Sorry the Captain?




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  22. Anonymous says:

    Firstly, law firm partners make much more than $10,000 CI monthly. Secondly, CEOs of local statutory authorities also make way more than $10,000 CI monthly. Even those Authorities that are always in the news for incompetency, their CEOs are balling with the public’s money.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Hey, folks. You are majoring in the minors — so the law partners are making tons more money — but the point is that the non-Cabinet MLAs are overpaid, not to mention drawing excessive perks. And they don’t even have to show up to work, which is a far cry from the five-day work slog we all face. And when they do show up at the scheduled assembly meetings, they read, frequently nod off, work on their iPads, check their phones, disappear as soon as possible, and generally arrive unprepared for the agenda.

      Outside of their role in the Assembly, they are paid to represent the people — how many of them hold regiular office hours, walk around their districts to determine and solve the issues, visit people who are in need/trouble, conduct surveys to determine views, lobby meaningfully for their districts’ causes, etc., etc.?




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      • Anonymous says:

        Much better argument than the one about salaries. The salary is fair enough, the issue is the MP’s are not doing to work.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Thank you!




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      • Anonymous says:

        It’s not about getting lost in the details, it’s the fact that the author has no concept of what salaries actually are in Cayman thereby making his point irrelevant.




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  23. Anonymous says:

    $10,000 per month is a law firm partner’s salary? Really?? I don’t think so!

    Whiel few would argue with your concern about whether we are getting value for money for these MLAs making absurd statements like that does not help your case.




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  24. Anonymous says:

    No argument that the MLAs salaries are too high for the number of days that most of them work, but most lawyers in Cayman earn much, much more than $10,000 per month.




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  25. Anonymous says:

    Law firm partner at $10k per month, really? I don’t think so….maybe double that, for starters before bonuses and other perks.

    Cost of living in Cayman is way up there, almost $1000 per month per child for decent schooling…..go figure.

    Stop politicians double dipping of pensions instead, if you are worried about the government gravy train!




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  26. Anonymous says:

    i do believe your math’s and or information is way off? I know they earn more than they are worth but KYD180,000 PA is not correct. It would be good if CNS could look into this and post the correct information . Thanks CNS




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    • annoymous says:

      Checkout the Facebook Page “I am Caymanian! Where are my Rights?” They posted them on it from last week.




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  27. Anonymous says:

    I will give it for some PD & NW wine!!!!




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  28. Anonymous says:

    MM, don’t forget the double-dip instant-pension that MLA’s receive every month on top of their salary. All the while, just passing a law forbidding any other worker, local and expat alike, from receiving anything until ages old.

    Not to mention, the outrageous salary of the Speaker of the House, and her double-dip instant-pension, as well.




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    • Anonymous says:

      There is no wonder that she do not have a heart toward certain peoples finances, only those that can vote.




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    • Anonymous says:

      8.19 The Speaker of the House should not be an elected member/MLA, that person should be selected from the outside. It is just disgusting. Years ago the Speaker was not an MLA.




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    • Anonymous says:

      The Speaker is a member of the serving Cabinet and led a vote of no confidence against the current leader of Opposition while a member of his party a few years ago. Her own abuse of office transgressions for personal real estate speculation, protocol travel, and paving for votes were all conveniently brushed under the carpet – and voters are totally silent on all of this!




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  29. Anonymous says:

    Let’s not forget free medical, VIP admission to events, expectations of kickbacks (if not in cash, in kind), rigged nominations by colleagues for MBE/OBE, Honorable title for life, government credit card and travel protocol, plus double that salary cost for those that are simultaneously drawing a pension. For about 4 weeks attendance in the LA, most of whom complain that they cannot do anything “because nobody will listen to them”. For real. Oh, and there’s one more seat for the next election bringing body count to 19.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Divide 19 by approximately 19,000 voters covering no more than 100 square miles and tell me that there is value for money. Pigs. Get them out.




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  30. POLITRICKS 101 says:

    None of the current MLA’s represent or provide “value for money” and no one elected will move a motion to decrease their salaries and total compensation packages. The gravy train is too sweet.

    Politics has become the easiest way to make a big salary in the Cayman Islands for too many ‘nice’ individuals and coat tail riders not qualified or able to make a living or earn that sort of wage doing anything else.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Whogene
      Joey Who
      Harden
      Hazzard
      Roy
      Ozzie
      Tara
      Marco
      Kurt
      Anthony

      Complete waste of money based on their performances as MLAs and ministers




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  31. Anonymous says:

    You are entitled to your opinion as to what kind of job they are doing but their salary falls way short of what a partner in a major law firm make. Also some of them were very successful in the private sector. I will agree some are not too bright. But at the end of he day only monkeys work for peanuts and we are to blame for electing them so whose fault is it.




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  32. Anonymous says:

    I agree with most of your comment but please do not think that $10,000 a month is a “law firm partner’s salary”. About 15 years ago I was very friendly with a young Caymanian lawyer in her late 20s; she was considered a brilliant “prospect” for the future in a major law firm but personal issues got in the way of that. We Caymanians allow that to happen to us to often. At that time-15 years ago and a comparative junior- she was earning $12,000 a month. You can imagine what the partners were earning then and what they earn now.




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  33. Anonymous says:

    The wage paid does not included all the extra monies. Listen to the whole bunch of them and they will tell you they are working 24/7. Now since they claim the cost of living has dropped then I guess they can drop their pay? Think that will happen? Lead by example don’t they?




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  34. Anonymous says:

    So true




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  35. Anonymous says:

    You ask where else would an incompetent get that money to do almost nothing ? The answer is clear…the civil service’s managerial positions.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Chief Officers and Deputies are the unelected powers in government with zero accountability always been that way. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson not doing anything to change it either since they are his chosen few




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  36. Anonymous says:

    Well said. Let us have a referendum to negate these exorbitant salaries.




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  37. Anonymous says:

    Very wel said, MLA’s care about only one thing and that is thereself totally imcompentant.
    What has this government really done over the last four years except pay millions in consultation papers which they should be doing.
    They talk about the cruise pier and the tip but nothing has been done and when the next government get in it will be back to square one.
    Maybe it is just one big conspiracy by the MLA’s to do nothing and vote each other back into the family




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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah they look after each other alright. Will Civil servants vote for them after how they are treated. Some can’t get medical benefits after working over 20 years but they passed a law for speakers to get it with no minimum time stated. Politricks yes but they shooting themselves.




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  38. Anonymous says:

    Rubbish post. Not one law firm partner is paid such a low salary.

    Lawyers make $250k to $500k PA and that’s not a partner salary.

    MLA have one of the most demanding jobs in Cayman. Think about it

    Phone never stops ringing
    Public at your door step ever day
    No private life
    Expected to attend hundreds of events a year
    Constantly under the public eye

    Oh and I have not touched their real jobs of working in parliament and in ministries

    Check around the world. Our MLAS are the lowest paid. Have a look at Bermuda




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    • Anonymous says:

      One cant see them at their Offices and when you go to their homes their gates are closed with a pack of dogs barking after you. Not my vote anymore Bo Bo I have better use for my time. I really have to work very hard for my two mites.




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      • Anonymous says:

        Why do you show up at a MLA house? Would you do that to an employee, I think not. MLA’s are elected to govern the country not to be your ATM card, goofer, Pall Bearer, Master of Ceremonies, Funeral attendants, or whatever role you decide for them on that given day. $10k per month is not enough for what people expect from politicians in Cayman. What we need are term limits on the Premier and the process need to change as to who and how we the people elect the Premier and what are the qualifications to be elected as Premier.




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      • really? says:

        why would you go to an MLAS house? Is nobody privacy worth anything?




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        • Anonymous says:

          They go to their houses to beg-.that is the only reason. They have no questions, seeking no clarity on anything going on in the country, just to beg for money to top up their phones, to pay their electric bill, to pay their mortgage, to take their children on vacation and the list goes on. An MLA could stand by the roadside for thirty minutes and give away their entire salary. They need ten times the salary to satisfy these modern day beggars.




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      • Anonymous says:

        What are you doing at their homes?

        You just proved 2:27’s point – no private life! I would have a pack of dogs protecting my yard against people just turning up whenever they choose too.

        In Singapore the public officials are paid extremely high – it discourages corruption – which let’s face it – some of our politicians are famous for!




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    • Anonymous says:

      They are paid more then the Prime Minister of the UK, she gets about 155k CI equivalent, do they do more than her? The elected also get a pension that is worth an awful lot of money, I think they get 60% of their salary for life after 8 years (2 elections). Lets say that’s $100k a year, to generate that sort of income from a privately held pension scheme you would need to have a pension pot of around $2mio+, they do have to contribute to the pension, but I think that’s around $60k over 8 years, so 60k buys a pension pot of $2mio…or a damn big future liability that our kids will be paying for.




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    • Anonymous says:

      Our MLA’s are the lowest paid in the world, ROFL!

      UK Mp’s have paid around 75,000 pounds= 81,250 CI, they also pay tax of around 26k on that, so they get around 56k CI per year.

      Not withstanding that is just one example of lower pay, but on average each has around 110,000 contituents, so their annual take home is about $0.5 per constituent per year.

      MLA’s 180,000 CI per year take home, average around 3,000 contituents.

      SO our MLA’s get $60 per constituent.

      Just looking at one example not only shows our MLA’s are not the lowest paid, they actually are paid 120 times more than our mother countries equivalents.

      Even the US president has a take home pay similar to the Leader of Cayman government, and they have to look after thousands of more constituents.




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  39. Anonymous says:

    You clearly have no idea how much a partner in a law firm makes. Most of our MLAs would definitely command higher salaries and perks in the private sector, particularly those with professional qualifications.

    Just check any of the websites for recruitment agencies in Cayman or the Friday classifieds. With only 3 years PQE you’re looking at US$120-150k base salary for an Associate and bonuses can be sizable – at least one month’s salary. 5 years PQE and it’s probably US$200k plus benefits and bonus, probably also some sort of commission (percentage of billing). Partner? You’re easily making at least a quarter of a million annually as your base salary, even if you’re not an equity partner. And Accountants have similar remuneration packages.

    Look at the Spring 2016 Labour Force Survey – more than 4.5% of employed persons earn more than CI$8,400/month. Yes, there are also a lot of people who make much less than that. But there are many who make much, much more.




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