Opposition: Lack of plan makes UK move worse

| 02/05/2018 | 19 Comments
Cayman News Service

Opposition MLAs (L-R) Chris Saunders, Alva Suckoo, Anthony Eden, Ezzard Miller and Arden McLean

(CNS): Members of the opposition have echoed the sentiments of the Government of National Unity in condemning yesterday’s move by the UK Conservative government to accept an amendment to the Sanctions and Anti-Money Laundering Bill, which will require the Cayman Islands and other British Overseas Territories to establish public registers of company owners. But the opposition believes that things will be made worse for Cayman because there is no national economic development plan. 

The opposition’s comments about the move, which has angered the wider community, come alongside comments from the private sector though the Chamber of Commerce and Cayman Finance, both of which have committed to backing the government in its actions to handle the situation.

Cayman Finance remains calm, Chamber outraged

The opposition also offered its support but again called on government to implement a proper national plan to help mitigate against such eventualities.

“The opposition supports the government in taking the necessary steps to defend our financial services industry against this draconian and despotic overreach by the UK parliament,” it said.

It said the mandatory requirement for the public registers of beneficial owners of all offshore financial entities will be detrimental to the economy and that it is discriminatory, given that the crown dependencies compete with Cayman for business, and will give those islands and other countries a competitive advantage over these islands.

“This decision in the UK is being spearheaded by politicians that are ignorant of the provisions of the robust regulatory framework that exists in the Cayman Islands as well as of the role that international financial centres play in facilitating global trade and investment, particularly with regard to such integral sectors as pensions, infrastructure, insurance and debt.

“The opposition is calling for the UK political leadership to be truthful in explaining to the British people that the real reason behind this move is to mask the failure of government policies to improve the lives of the ordinary UK citizen,” the statement read.

The opposition takes the view that the UK cannot afford to sustain its relatively comprehensive safety net for the more vulnerable in society and is using claims about tax havens to distract from that. It described the UK as building a “massive welfare system” without the tax base necessary to sustain it and also suggested that it was trying to correct the economic miscalculations of an increase in immigration, which was rejected by the British people with the Brexit vote.

However, those who have campaigned for the open registers would argue that the tax base in the UK would be more than adequate to fund an even greater welfare system if UK-based corporations and the wealthy elite paid their fair share of taxes. In addition, economic experts in the UK largely agree that immigration boosts the economy and that the anti-immigration sentiment that was prevalent around the Brexit vote is more complex than the impact migrants have on the welfare system.

Nevertheless, the opposition here stated, “Many of these issues facing the UK and other countries in Europe could have been avoided if the political leadership had taken the time to plan their countries’ future.”

While opposition members offered their support for government, they still took aim at their failings regarding future planning. “This is why the Cayman Islands Opposition has been calling for the creation of a national strategic plan as well as an update to the development plan. While the UK politicians can blame the overseas territories for their failed policies, we will have no one to blame but ourselves if we fail to plan.”

See beneficial ownership documents in the CNS Library

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Comments (19)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Don’t worry, they are working on it.

  2. "Anonymousir" says:

    why people want to hide so? oh because, your rich from doing nothing but dirt. so please cayman … keep our dirt a secret!! NO!!!! expose these fools! bout damn time. MAKE IT PUBLIC!

  3. Anonymous says:

    OK, so the money is going to dry up after many years of our being addicted to it. We need to take drastic action: cease all talk/action about developing a port for cruise ships, close down the loss making Turtle Farm and, sadly, loss making Cayman Airways (there are now many airlines willing to service us), cut services provided and also the numbers of civil servants and public servants providing them, introduce property taxes on a sliding scale on properties CI$1 million and upwards, introduce a national health insurance scheme and cease allowing the private insurance sector to rape us with HUGE profits by providing useless coverage at inflated prices ONLY to the well patients leaving government to cover the rest, civil servants and public servants to share costs of pensions and health care. And so on.

  4. Anonymous says:

    UK gave cayman more than enough time to do the right things such as cut the senior civil servants that were ignored and the UK know we suppose to be a well off cayman islands but the indigeous caymanians have to leave the cayman islands because they can not have the basic needs such as food, shelter, education and employment and the indigeous caymanians are forced to leave the cayman islands to the UK too seek a better living and the highest population residing in the cayman islands is from a independent country or countries so UK can do what they want with the cayman islands because the people residing in the the cayman already gave the cayman islands away so the country is worst than any independent country at this time because only a hand full of people living in the country have the money so the wealth is not being spread amongst everyone Uk need to pack up all of the people that have all the wealth and send them to a deserted island so that the poorer class can live happily ever. And for the leaders the unity governent especially the know all premier of the cayman islands UK need to take away their power and all of their money so they can feel the hard life just like the poorer class people that is living in the cayman islands.

  5. Anonymous says:

    In light of relatively recent scandalous discoveries, the former British colonies should collectively compile data and facts and file a retroactive “Crimes Against Humanity” claim against the British government for their vindictive and calculated actions to guarantee economic, social, health, and welfare hardships of their affected citizens.

    At a minimum, it will shine a light into the darkness on the global stage for the world to finally understand what has truly transpired over the last few decades.

    Having this conversation at every latest shameful antic of the British government (and its powerful partners; IMF, World Bank, WTO, Council of Foreign Relations (CFR), United Nations, USA, France, etc.) is tiresome and unnecessary.

    They do so as they are comfortable in the fact the world is widely ignorant to their historic shenanigans. They are truly the lowest of the low.

    On-going neo-colonial manipulation is the great final taboo that must be exposed for the masses to better understand the world in which we live.

    #MeToo #LGBTQI #BLM movements have their rightful places as it regards progress and equality which provide a facade of success, however, the strongest national proponents thereof have ZERO interest in uncovering and addressing the (original) sins of FAR GREATER importance and global repercussions.

    Think regional instability, refugee crises, xenophobia, (return) and rise of western White Nationalism aka racism, terrorism, and such.

    Some groups have their “never again” branded onto the modern psyche. Many others are left to fend for themselves without a single, genuine partner in this world.


    – Whodatis

  6. Anonymous says:

    UK is trying to destroy the British Overseas Territories, they are racist..

    • West Bay Premier says:

      I believe that parents sometimes can’t see further than the tip of their nose , and the children need to correct the issue . Our Government needs to understand that not everything that the UK do is right , and remember that it’s their job to make them see it .

      • Anonymous says:

        Our leadership were not smart enough to see this coming from the House of Lords in October, nor record any instructive counter offensive in all of these months. In a parallel universe, the project manager would be called back to the boardroom and fired.

    • Anonymous says:

      British MPs are trying to catch dirty Russians, and don’t accurately know how, or where they hide their money. Too many comic books and tv shows, and our successive cabinets have never sued to correct the narrative. Our fault in a way.

      • The kiss of death was the Panama Papers and the Paradise Papers. These 2 papers made many policy makers in London and other European capitals aware of where money was going to in the offshore sector. We are now seeing the consequences.

  7. RICK says:

    Opposition seems the better than this government

    • Anonymous says:

      It is always easy to find fault.

      • Anonymous says:

        They have all the time in the world to prepare their own draft of a National Plan. Will they? Of course not. That might actually mean that they will be open to criticism rather than spending their time clucking about the faults of others.

        • Anonymous says:

          To prepare a proper national plan you have to engage large scale stakeholder engagement and have free access to the civil service machinery’s expertise and information – remember vision 2008. The opposition, regardless of who they are, can’t engage that exercise. Only the government can.

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