Saunders calls on CIG to stop private sector’s free ride

| 02/11/2017 | 30 Comments

(CNS): The representative for Bodden Town West called into question several government policies that he said were mandating people to give money to the private sector for doing nothing. Chris Saunders took aim at the mandatory pension system, which he said was allowing pension companies to get rich for doing nothing by manipulating that policy and the people. He warned that the only entity likely to be around in 35-45 years time to pay anyone their pension would be the government.

“Whether we want to accept it or not we have created a culture in this country where government is mandating too many people in the public to give money to private companies. That is wrong and that needs to stop,” he said, as the former banker addressed his new colleagues during the budget debate Wednesday. He said that if there is a repeat of the financial crisis in 2008, people’s pensions will be wiped out. He said that the last crisis had a serious impact and that was when the plans were still young.

He called on government to consider a national insurance system, adding, “At the end of the day, you just can’t have people paying money into private companies and they are getting reach from other people’s work.”

In his first major speech in the Legislative Assembly, Saunders made it clear that his direct approach in calling out what he sees as major shortcomings in government displayed recently in the Public Accounts Committee hearings will be carried through to the parliament.

In his contribution to the debate the opposition member also called out another free income generator for private companies, which he said government has mandated, namely the need for employers to spend money on compulsory print advertising for vacancies in a local newspaper when they want to apply for a work permit.

“Another simple thing …is the way we have people advertise for jobs for work permit renewals,” Saunders said. “What is to stop the government having those adverts gazetted and making revenue from it. Why should we …guarantee a private company to make tonnes of money off work permit ads when it is something we could be doing ourselves or putting it online?” he asked. “We need to stop this habit of private companies making something for nothing.”

Although government has spoken about making its new human resource agency, the clearing house for all job vacancies, the premier has not yet outlined whether or not the current need for employers to run two consecutive adverts in the print media before submitting a work permit application will continue to be a mandatory requirement.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (30)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I don’t respect politicians that create wedges, routinely accuse others, insight class & citizenry warfare, continually blame the incredibly difficult to survive in private sector that actually funds THEIR SALARY, so they can constantly point their fingers to do more. The private sector doesn’t OWE anyone anything! It’s already doing plenty including driving this entire economy, one of the best in all the Caribbean, paying salaries, paying taxes, business license fees. What to they *actually* do and solve other than continually making it more and more difficult to do business here? They act like we work for them and owe them. We should force MLA’s to volunteer their time as opposed to paying them 10K a month, funded by the private sector btw. Maybe we could actually get original innovative thinking as opposed to constantly put the burden on everyone else backs.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    A swarm of monkeys could run a pension better than Chambers. They lose money when the markets go down and lose money when the markets go up and they treat you as if they are doing you a favour.

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  3. Veritas says:

    If you want a fat pension, become a senior civil servant, pay nothing for it and get two thirds of your salary on your retirement plus annual cost of living increases. Better still do something wrong, be compulsorily retired early,and receive a fat bonus on top of your pension, after staying at home for 3 years on full salary.

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    • Anonymous says:

      The last two years the pensioners did NOT get any cost of living raise, for they said the cost of living did not go up, which as we all know is not true.

  4. Anonymous says:

    Can the private sector do anything right? My civil service pension is growing. My private sector pension is reducing.

    Look at the rip off banks CUC flow etc. Not to mention the poor customer service everywhere I go.

    However when I went to get my voter ID I was treated like royalty. What a change.

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    • Veritas says:

      When I went, there were so many employees at the voter registration it is hardly surprising that you receive the royal treatment.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Your “private sector” pension is not really all that “private” It is highly regulated and you only have a few choices. The government dictates who you use for your pension plan. Let the “private pension” companies compete globally for your money and then you will see a handsome return on your investment.
      The same thing goes for health insurance. I can get get far better coverage on my own than I can through the GOV approved companies and it’s much less money. I am not allowed to do that unless I have both…thanks for all your help GOV.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    To be fair, we also give the public service money for nothing as well.

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  6. anonymous says:

    I’m so happy that the people of Bodden Town saw the genius of Saunders. Everybody in Cayman needs to petition to make him the Minister of Finance. If we send all of our pension and healthcare money to him, and have Big Mac do the investments, within a few short years (or rolls of the dice) we could all be retired and walking around all day in pyjamas with a cellphone to our ear like they do in Kuwait.

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    • Anonymous says:

      We might even get a soverign wealth fund too…mention that idea and watch the govt face turn Mr. Bean. Go ahead! Pay off debt and create a wealth fund and the pensions should be collected by govt and turned over to a massive provider in NYC and London 50/50 and told keep the fees down to .25% and returns above 8.5% and watch how money is really made…thats really how business is done

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  7. Anonymous says:

    give them hell chris….??

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  8. Anon says:

    I agree the National Pension Law guarantees a healthy profit to Pension Fund managers, and companies that sell Annuities. Pension Managers have done nothing but mismanage their employee contributions and this has nothing to do with any financial crisis. There is got to be a better way to ensure that when an employee retires, they will have sufficient monthly income to live. Under the NPL, an employee will have to have approximately $600K in their pension account when they retire to have an income of $30K a year, which is highy unlikely. However I would not recommend a National Insurance Scheme either. The Government now believes you have to use retired police officers to run the National Pension Office and I find this frightening and absurd to see why.

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    • Anonymous says:

      As I understand it and speaking from experience, it is impossible to take more than $12,000.00 per year from your pensions when you retire, no matter how much you have in there.
      With more money in your pensions you only get to collect the $12,000.00 for a longer time after you retire …………. if you don’t die first.

    • Anonymous says:

      You do realise that people should be making plans that go beyond the government mandated pension right? It is not meant to be the sole source of survival post retirement but an addition to other savings made through a person’s lifetime.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Yes perfect, hand the incompetent Government that created the healthcare mess more of the private sectors revenues! Because we all know the government are great knowledgeable investors, especially when it come to securities, private equity etc.

    Show me a government, and I will show you a portfolio of bankrupted programs. Now this verbose clown wants more control??

    Why don’t you start by doing your job instead, and accomplish *something* other your damn finger at everyone else?

    You can always tell the incompetent ones, they’re usually the loudest blowhard in the room.

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    • John says:

      8:41 AM, so Chris Saunders is a verbose clown huh. I wonder wa ya ma call herself and what your Grandmother called your father when he married your mother. I say all of that to say, you need to have respect for our elected members, and while this message may not be printed, responding to it gives me some way of letting off the anger which if I knew who the writer was assuredly he/she would “hurry” away from me.

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      • Anonymous says:

        12:41pm, No need to get aggressive, just think for a few seconds of your retirement. How would you like that to be during your golden years? Assuming you know that your pension funds alone will not make them golden! Did he and Mr. Miller not just finish providing us with information on how poorly Government and Statutory entities are poorly managed and used the Auditor General reports for back up. Now he want to give our pension funds to them, wow. That’s called a 180 degree flip. Wonder why? Just look at CAL, Health, PWD, RCIPS, Turtle Farm, Port Authority, Cinico, just to mention a few. With those as an example our years will not be so golden, will they? Politicians cater to their constituents (districts) to maintain a majority base to get re-elected, simple. We need to separate the sense from the nonsense. Lets try and see the whole picture, remove personalities and Put Cayman Islands 1st. first.

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      • Anonymous says:

        “need to have respect for our elected members”?? They deserve the same respect as the next person – but no more more. They are elected to serve us and they ought to remember that. Too often it seems arrogance takes over once elected.

  10. Gaius A. Diocletian says:

    Time to hand the cash to Government. Management taking too much. The idea of a Pension plan run by the private sector has failed because those who pay in to the funds do not care enough to watch the mismanagement that takes place. The administrators are often negligent and the Government is not interested in calling them out.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yeh, right…so politicians can go gamble it on government credit cards? I will take my chances in the private sector, as least I can sue those buggers.

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  11. Anonymous says:

    Mini-Mac blowhard. Scary times ahead folks.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Can CNS please stop referring to him as a banker? He is an accountant. Would you call an accountant working at the hospital a doctor?????

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      • Anonymous says:

        I believe the term is being used in the rhyming sense. Would make more sense.

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      • Anonymous says:

        And is there a respectable degree in banking? He is the only one there that understands how a bank works ans one of the few that has some understanding of economics. Of course he does not own a bank and clearly has some quite questionable ideas, but I really do not see the issue with the way CNS calls him

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Hmmm, pensions, no, work permit ads, yes.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    The mixed economy bells and whistles that exist in larger, more diversified economies/societies (or those with abundant natural resources) are simply not possible in Cayman without materially damaging the country. Particularly given the mobility of the population. Every Caymanian has at least a second citizenship (or the right thereto -UK). Quite rightly, the older Caymanian generation turned this once-poor island into the envy of the Caribbean if not the world by adopting policies to reward the risk takers and creators of wealth, knowing that this would get people off the fishing boats and the ersatz Cayman plantations of a few wealthy families. Given that a significant percentage of Caymanian adults, including many of the most talented, work for the Civil Service, railing against the private sector and embracing Identity politics will surely drive the very mobile, risk taking, and productive Caymanians and immigrants away. Will someone in the private sector please hire Mr. Saunders before everyone else gets fired?

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  14. PD says:

    A national social security system and health insurance program needs to be put into place. Come on haven’t there been enough kick backs already? Grow up and be part of the real world.

    Makes one wonder if these programs were implemented then employers would be more liable to pay then they are now.

    We taxpayers are paying for a labor & pension department but what are they doing? Sitting around waiting for some one to come to them. Get back to the old system; enforcement check all places of employment starting with high risk areas (construction), give every employee whether work permit or Caymanian a number and then track thru the monetary authority to see if the employers pay pension or health insurance. Now you also can create some new jobs for the Caymanians who are getting those government scholarships because they can be part of the regulthority authority monitoring this. But keeping things as they are now is a waste of tie. .

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