(CNS): The independent member for North Side will be making one last effort before the election to persuade the government that the duty allowance for Caymanians only should be increased. Ezzard Miller noted that it has been more than two decades since the $350 personal shopping allowance and the limits on liquor and tobacco were introduced, and is calling on government to double all allowances for local travelers. He said that given the increase in the cost of living, this would be a more meaningful reflection of inflation since the allowance was introduced.
The independent member is introducing the proposed change via a private member’s bill at the final session of the Legislative Assembly, which has been scheduled for late February.
Miller said that the duty could easily be policed so that it only applies to Caymanians, as the status of the travelling public can be verified through their passports. He said that he did not feel there was a need to allow residents or visitors access to the proposed increase and his priority was his North Side constituents.
The MLA said he also wants to see government introduce a mandatory ‘buy local rule’ for any developer who is given duty concessions. Having filed a motion on the topic with parliament, Miller said he wants to see government hold developers accountable.
If investors are given concessions on the fees usually required for a development, which for some, such as Dart, can be massive, they should be investing the money locally, Miller maintains. He believes that if the public is not going to receive the financial benefits of development through the public purse, government must ensure at the very least the cash is circulating in the economy.