Government won’t tax banks for education fund

| 21/11/2017 | 53 Comments

(CNS): The premier told members of the Legislative Assembly that his government would consider the idea of an education fund that could help plug the budget gaps and cover more scholarships for Caymanians, but he said his administration was not prepared to raise the cash by putting a tax on the spread which banks take on conversion between the CI and US dollar. Alden McLaughlin said that the Unity government was prepared to accept part of a motion brought by opposition member Chris Saunders Thursday, and embraced the idea that employers whose business plans call for the provision of scholarships could instead pay into such a fund if they failed to meet that obligation.

After Saunders presented his motion, in which he called for a tax on the banks, McLaughlin said his government would look at how they could create such a fund, but said he was concerned about the already declining offshore banking sector and that he feared the tax would have a detrimental impact on the declining number of banks now registered in the Cayman Islands.

The premier also took the opportunity to warn the opposition benches about what he described as the rhetoric aimed at the banking sector, saying he worried about the type of message the criticisms of the industry presented, as government valued their business.

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Category: Education, Government Finance, Local News, Politics

Comments (53)

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  1. Diogenes says:

    I can’t be the only one amused that people constantly refer to Saunders as the “Bernie Sanders of Cayman”.
    First of all they are almost completely different when you refer to actual policy, Saunders is a clearly Centre-Left leaning with slight progressive and populist proposals while Sanders is a fully left, progressive and populist. No politician in Cayman can claim the title of a true progressive or a true liberal or claim to be on the political left. The parties are both Conservative and in the centre of the political spectrum.

    Just in case you forgot Bernie Sanders is a man who went from almost 0 name recognition on a a national level to having people outside the US refer to other politicians as “The Bernie Sanders of *insert country name here*) That ought to show you just how much people listened to what he had to say, whether you agree with him or not he had an impact in the US and the world. Not to mention he is currently the most popular Senator in the US and one of if not the most popular Politician in the US currently.

    If you are trying to insult Mr Saunders by implying that he is a socialist, please take 2 seconds to actually look up one of the various socialist leaders who was actually disliked in the world and stop trying to be edgy by using the name of a popular Democratic Socialist as an insult. Most of Bernie’s policy ideas have 60-70% approval ratings across the board Dem or GOP, and by all likelihoods he would have crushed Donald Trump if he hadn’t lost the nomination to Hillary. Not that it would have mattered if Hillary or Bernie won the Whitehouse, the GOP would have obstructed until the 2018 midterms and then they would have let them just be a lame duck president.

    I support both Bernie and Chris but please stop comparing them just based based on one policy. Not only are you incorrect in associating them but you are being publicly showing just how uniformed you really are, if you are trying to call Chris a socialist, just call him a socialist, you’ll save face and seem that much more competent.

    Diogenes

  2. West bay Premier says:

    CNS Mr McLaughlin used the word in the article saying “his government ” I asked the question how many Governments do the Cayman Islands have today ? Or was that typo ?

    CNS Editor: It was reported in indirect speech and I don’t know what his precise wording was. In any case, it’s not an unusual way to refer to a government headed by a particular political leader. This is a non-issue.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Bernie Saunders to the rescue! Venezuela here we come! Viva OMOV, Now only 350 votes required to bribe to get in! Brilliant move on OMOV Cayman!

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  4. Facto De Matta says:

    In addition to the Government Scholarships, there are countless others available (primarily, if not exclusively, to Caymanian students). Educate yourself and take advantage of the opportunities available to you and you will be just fine. Try the link below.

    https://www.yumpu.com/en/embed/view/Dftd6kJYJpvfXe4v

    Simple fact of the matter is that not everyone needs to, or should, go on to tertiary education. Stop placating the entitlement mentality by funding useless degrees at worthless institutions and there will be plenty to go around.

    For what it’s worth, the average debt of a student having completed University in the UK right now sits at around 50,000 GBP. Life is full of choices.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Let’s be very careful we do not do what his father country did to run away the banks and other business that ended up in Cayman. He could always run back home. We would be stuck right here in our broken homeland while he run back to take credit for a new and healthy economy in that next door Island. (Could that be the Trojan Plan?)

    We need to find ways to encourage business to be here not run them away.
    Just because “your man” had a bad run with the bank does not mean the rest have to suffer. There is a trend on these persons that making a fuss about the bank’s recently.

    To avoid taxing the Banks and such, it would be easier to follow the laws and collect the missing monies owed for PR and other fees. These people been taking the system for a joke way too long now. Expecting to get PR and thinking this country owe them something.

    Everyone can benefit if we can get rid of the free loaders mentality.

    Sometimes Chris seem to mean well, and other times he just seem to be playing politics. He know the fights that look good to his constituents and which fights are a no good.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Can we have an real and open conversation about making gambling legal?! There are thousands of dollars generated with the numbers being sold… so like many other countries some of this money can go towards education, scholarships and other needs. Why won’t government tap into this and stop hiding behind religious reasons as an excuse. Down the regressive road we continue to go……

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    • Anonymous says:

      The problem with your idea is that most of the people participating in the illegal numbers games would not participate in a government run one. Also there is the issue that administration costs would outstrip any revenue generated. The population base is simply too small.

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    • Anonymous says:

      A “tax-free” online National lottery has always been a good untapped OFC idea. It doesn’t need to be conflated with casino development, nor involve a complex gaming commission, oligarchs, underworld developers, or addiction clinics, and it could raise substantial CIG cash right away.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Say..Why did the banks just revently start charging a $10 minimum..or 1% of total on all Cayman purchases of foreign exchange?
    Is that even legal?

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  8. Anonymous says:

    It is becoming ever clearer that the Premier is out of his depth, and that emphasizes the tragedy that we lost Wayne Panton at the last election. Not only was he an excellent MLA – he would have made a much more effective leader in the LA.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Scholarships happen everywhere for the kids of not so wealthy families who truly have talent.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Millionaire families get Cayman scholarships after sending the kids to good private schools.
      Why? No Means Test are dona for these applicant$
      Shame!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Therein lies the difference. A lot of these children wouldn’t stand a chance of getting a scholarship elsewhere because their grades/”talents” are average at best. Yes there are some that definitely deserve to be assisted but the majority just expect it.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    The money being serviced offshore is in funds and risk; none of those Trillions are buying local currency, since not a dollar of it is custodied here (How can any politician not know this?!). Which means any revenue from forex spreads would be generated 100% off the backs of middle class residents, including Avg Joe Caymanian who is just trying to make rent and keep the lights on. Super dumb.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense. The local banks make tens of millions a year on the spread between US and CI for doing almost nothing and adding zero value. If we pegged the CI dollar one for one to the US dollar as Bermuda does, they’d make nothing.

      The spread is nothing but a private sector tax on every dollar spent in Cayman. If this it’s not worth them being here without this gift, good riddance to them.

      Either tax the sh*t out of it or do away with it altogether.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Is there any other country in the world where almost all the locals with mediocre educational qualifications can all obtain a free scholarship for a university education. This is entitlement culture gone mad.As for taxing the banks which already sponsor large numbers of scolarships, if this happens the only banks left will be the few who service the locals, and they will have to pay through the nose by way of increased bank charges.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    The reality is if Government add a fee, or tax, then the consumer, ie you and me, will end up paying for it. There isn’t some magical benefactor who can be tapped up for cash.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    There’s not much of a local banking industry left here…deposit AUM plus household credit card and mortgage debt has been published at only USD$14Billion. Yet “Paradise Paper” Socialists from around the Globe still fantasize openly about “Billions in foregone taxes” to collect…local politicians fantasize about tapping “this wealth”…it’s universally delusional!

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    • Not the OP says:

      Dude, I hear what you’re saying. But USD$14Billion (with a B!) sounds like a number we can be proud of for such a small place. (Just don’t tax it any more.)

  14. John says:

    listen you, many of us have paid our way and paved or you people who are always criticizing us locals. You choose to come here you don’t mix yet you are ready to be holier than thou. Tell me how many have you provided assistance to mentoring or otherwise, you probably like many others are caught up in thinking that we are all a society of entitled mentality well we are not all that way, and there are those of us who have strived and still strive to help each other.

    Truly resent your comments and urge you to contribute to the betterment rather than castigate and if you cant do that then haul your asquaresus out aya.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I have mentored two Caymanians in my time here, both decided the job was too stressful for them and involved too much travel. Yes, it does take all sorts and maybe I have not been lucky in selecting the right people yet, but its not for lack of trying.

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      • Anonymous says:

        So u gave up after 2? How many opps were u given in life before makinf it here?

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        • Anonymous says:

          9.53, two more than you, that’s for sure. I never said I gave up, obviously your mentor failed to teach you to read and understand before commenting.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And just how much have you contributed to Caymanian scholarships or mentoring? Or better yet how much have the 10 or so wealthy Caymanian merchant families put up? Always easy to kick and scream that someone else should pay isn’t it?

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Alden “The Weak” McLaughlin is a sell out.
    He is protecting the same retail banks that are crushing Caymanians with excessive fees and predatory lending practices. Has he seen the profit margins that these banks operate with year after year? Cayman is a gold mine for these retail banks.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    how about caymanians pay their way for once????…
    end the entitlement culture!

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about first we strop giving scholarships to hundreds of non-Caymanians.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Really! Name 5 non-Caymanians who have received a scholarship for further education. Every scholarship advert I have seen states that the applicant must be Caymanian.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Many of the recipients are simply assumed to be Caymanian. The lady granted status last week is one example. She was not Caymanian but has been given all the benefits as if she was. There are many many more.

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          • Anonymous says:

            I guess you’ve never applied for a scholarship, one of the main tenants of all applications is that you have to prove you are Caymanian, but don’t let that stop the fake news.

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        • Anonymous says:

          The issue is that the definition of Caymanian used by the Education Dept is not the same definition under the immigration law. So we may have “ghost Caymanians” getting scholarships.

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        • Anonymous says:

          don’t bring facts into this!!!!

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        • Anonymous says:

          Sure it says they must be Caymanian, but are they?

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      • Anonymous says:

        And rich expats..and locals.

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    • Anonymous says:

      This guy is the Bernie Sanders of the Cayman Islands. Be sure he will do everything in his power to destroy this fragile economy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      How about you go back to whatever rock you crawled out under????

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    • Anonymous says:

      What do you call living off benefits in England and Ireland? entitlement? No wait, it is only entitlement when Cayman tries to take care of its people. The hypocrisy is unbelievable.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Nope, we hate them too. Scroungers and misfits all of them, except those with disabilities

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      • Anonymous says:

        So 1.21pm a. there are hordes of Caymanians living off benefits b. benefits in the UK do not include free university education.

    • Anonymous says:

      Many Caymanians have paid their way and more… why do you think they haven’t???

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    • Anonymous says:

      Wait! Is this coming from an American who is a foreigner in Cayman? No, you end your entitlement culture over the world!!! The nerve!

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    • Anonymous says:

      D*&#A%$…why would you want an intelligent Caymanian student (either by birth or paper) be denied the opportunity to further their education if their parent/s cannot afford it! SMH

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      • Anonymous says:

        Please note the qualifying requirement in the last comment.

      • Anonymous says:

        In other countries, if can not afford it then you get student loans backed by government. That’s a loan with an expectation of repayment once the student is working & not s scholarship (free ride).
        Sadly many think it’s ok not to repay mortgages (another word for a loan) & are horrified when the bank forecloses so I would expect a large number of defaults on student loans too.
        Incidentally, I wrote on this site before that Chris was not a banker & lots told me i was wrong. Trust me a banker would never suggest part of their income on fx exchange go towards scholarships. Why not ask gas suppliers to give 10% of their mark up on gas sales (or groceries or wine or tobacco) & fund the scholarships.
        Lots more gas stations now than there were 10 years ago whilst the number of banks has declined significantly – losing the govt a min if $60,000 a year each for each class b bank in annual licence fees (plus work permits, lease tax etc etc).

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