Inflation fuelling minimum wage challenge, says MLA

| 15/08/2018 | 90 Comments
Cayman News Service

MLA Kenneth Bryan (GTC)

(CNS): The MLA for George Town Central, Kenneth Bryan, has finally received a written response from government to a parliamentary question he submitted at the beginning of the year; it said that the minimum wage will be under review by the end of this month. But the independent member said inflation and the high cost of both living and doing business poses serious challenges for the Cayman Islands and the establishment of a basic rate of pay that people can live on. Speaking to CNS this week, Bryan said the current $6/hour rate has to be increased, but he is also concerned that a major hike would create even more difficulties for small businesses.

Bryan pointed to the need to balance paying people a living wage while not pricing small businesses out of the market. But he fears that inflation is fuelling a vicious circle that cannot be resolved by constantly increase the basic pay and may require the government and the wider community to rethink the current business environment.

With the consumer price index growing at well over 3%, the $6 minimum wage, which was way too low for people living in Cayman even when it was implemented, is now even more insufficient, he said. But increasing the basic rate too much will put more pressure on small businesses, which are also squeezed by the inflation rate and the cost of doing business, making it difficult for them to pay their workers a living wage.

“I don’t think anyone could argue that $6 an hour is enough for anybody to survive in this country,” he said. But employees will always want to see it increase and it is important not to kill the business community.

“What I have found is that most genuine business owners accept that $6 is not enough for people to survive on, but they have to survive as well and they are dealing with increasing energy costs, fuel and rent. The business owners are tackling the same problems as their staff.”

He said that although the increased rate must be based on fiscal data, which the review would be expected to determine, one clear indicator of where the rate should be heading was the government’s own basic minimum pay of $10 per hour. “I don’t have any statistical data to say what it should be but the NiCE programme workers’ rate is a clear indication.”

Given the challenges surrounding the minimum wage as a result of the high inflation rate, Bryan is questioning whether government should consider the competitive nature of some small business sectors with a view to introduce some kind of limit on certain types of commercial ventures to allow them to thrive and become profitable.

“How does government determine who gets a business licence? How many car washes can you have in such a small market before everyone loses, and is there a way to control the numbers of certain business so they can afford to pay decent wages?” he asked.

Bryan said that while he was well aware that many people believe the market should make these decisions, given the size of the Cayman commercial sector, the discussions need to start about how to control things fairly.

“We can’t just keep on increasing the minimum wage, as businesses will simply pass that on to the consumer anyway, with a constant knock-on effect,” he said, suggesting that the discussion has to change. “What we need to think about is, have we created an environment in the Cayman Islands that is sustainable enough for business owners to pay people enough to live on?”

Bryan does not believe government has done that.

“There are problems that government must confront, especially around how business licences are decided,” he said, adding that government needs to engage the community in a dialogue about these issues. “Too many businesses in the same sector and no one wins, too few and consumers suffer from a lack of competitive prices, but we need to find the middle ground,” he said.

He also raised concerns about the potential for corruption and who decides who gets what licence, so the need for a more transparent, fair and relevant criteria about the determination of trade and  business licences will be a very important part of finding the right balance.

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Category: Business, Small Business

Comments (90)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Let me see if I get this straight people doing business in Cayman are corporations with large shareholders who bought shares of stock and expecting to receive dividends? Sorry I didn’t realize that grocery stores, hardware stores, car dealerships, landscaping companies ,contractors, subcontractors, restaurants, bars etc had so many shareholders. I thought they were sole proprietors or partnerships with no more then 5-6 people who were family owned or friends. Cause Cayman is a christian nation and whether you go to church on sunday or saturday it doesn’t . But one thing they all agree on, lying is frowned upon in all religions even the atheists would have to agree. They is vey few store owners on this island that couldn’t give another CI$4 per hour and still not still be millionaire. So please have empathy for the loyal and good worker that is there day in and day out. Beacuse as each rich person learns, as that last light turns dark and you turn to dust, YOU AIN’T TAKING IT WITH YOU.

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    • Anonymous says:

      If it’s really that simple, why not make minimum wage 25.00 or 50.00 per hour in that case and solve the problem once and for all?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Live in helpers is paid $4.50 P H which is too much , first old people don’t have that kind of money and second the helpers gets FREE = Rent, Food, Water, Power & Light, T V, etc, etc, etc,. It should be no more than $ 3.5 p h, for that is
        $ 682.25 per Month clear money working 45 hrs. per week and plenty other working people don’t have that much left after paying all their bills. Politicians think about it, The helpers sends home all their money in a few years builds big houses in their home countries. So don’t raise Live In domestic helpers wages for they are already being paid too much.

    • Anonymous says:

      simpletons understandings are simple. You cannot blame this person. They just aren’t Harvard material.
      Obviously this person doesn’t understand this 4 dollar wage hike has to come from someone’s pockets. And since a business owner is in the business of making money. Shockingly they usually don’t do it out of the kindness of their hearts. They are going to pass this cost onto the consumer. For the original poster. Consumer means the people that buy things. That means you!. As a business owner. You cannot anticipate if your business is going to do well, or poorly that year. They aren’t all ALthompsons. And the wage hike would mean EVERY business. So, lets all give employees an extra 4 dollars and an hour and watch many business’s go bankrupt and close.
      Then you will complain that there is less stores, so you make things more expensive, because when a business has no competition. Guess what he does to the prices? Spell it for you, business’s usually raise the prices.

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  2. Anonymous says:

    Like him or hate him, at least he is trying to justify his pay check by actually doing something for others and not for himself.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Encourage your people to get some ambition ! The ones sitting down daily complaining about government this and government that are the ones that believes politicians are to stack $$ and give it to them just because they might have voted for them. Minimum wage at $6 or $16 some people just have no damn ambition. If you are sitting down all day and depending on help from Govt or whoever because you have no income but yet you refuse to work for the minimum wage because you fell it should be higher. Those are also the same ones making the most noise about expats taking away jobs. If you want to work and willing to give your 100% to your employer ain’t no expat that can take your job ! Kenneth represent your people yes but stop encouraging their negative behavior and attitude. You need to make one of you daily facebook live videos and call out their lazy and lack of ambition attitude. The NICE program had a turn out of many claim to be looking work….. no you know why they turn out because it’s 2 weeks they will go out and take advanatage of getting paid without having to do much for it.

    GTC Voter and KB Supporter !

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  4. Crab Claw says:

    And might I ask what is one of the driving factors of inflation in Cayman, but the CIG with their ridiculous taxes and bureaucracy.

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Not even the local crackhead working for $6 an hour. You better have $10 or do it yourself.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    What a waste of space. Trying to look smart now when I can remember him heckling teachers and professors all the time. What a great example to put a cheeky monkey in charge.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    ECONOMICS LESSON FOR DUMMIES / MLA’S
    ======================================

    When you *artificially raise the cost of a widget that a company to make a bread, the company *must* either:

    a) use/buy less of that widget,
    b) or two raise to cost of the bread,
    c) increase sales of the bread,
    OR d) suffer decline in revenues.

    When company’s revenue declines, they either:

    a) do nothing if they are morons (more than one person’s interests are usually involved in a company (like shareholders)
    b) cut operational costs
    c) raise the cost of the bread
    d) attempt to sell more of the bread (increase volume)

    FACT: The largest operational costs of just about any type of company is PEOPLE
    FACT: In most company, the first choice of operational reduction is PEOPLE

    WHY: because trying to increase the volume of sales of the bread, is NOT A GARANTEE AND RISKS THE BUSINESS GOING UNDER! OPTION B IS A GUARANTEE OF ADDRESSING THE DECLINE IN REVENUES!!

    When the costs if widgets are *artificially increased, the company usually does a combination of option B and option C to ensure the necessary measures are in place to protect the company and it’s *KEY PEOPLE (Not the people with the least skills, and usually the least paid)

    *Artificially has an asterix because it’s a very important distinction in the rising costs of the widget. Let me explain. When the cost of the widget is organically increased (by the market), it means that the DEMAND is up for the widget, meaning more people want those widgets. That MUST mean therefore that more people are buying MORE of the things that widgets make (like bread), which means, there is more revenue generated in the market by the use of those widgets.

    BUT if you ARTIFICIALLY raise the cost of the widgets, then there is NOT more demand for the things the widget makes, it just COSTS MORE to make the SAME AMOUNT of the things the widget makes (like bread).

    Therefore:

    When you artificially increase the cost of the widget, companies for the most part will cut the least necessary staff (usually the least paid), and increase the cost of the bread to level the company off.

    Now here comes there kicker, ready? Replace the word widget, for “labor costs”.

    (This part below is for the MLA’s pushing artificially increasing the cost of the labor costs)

    We have a bread company called ACME Bread Company. And in this company there were:

    Bobo whose labor costs was 4.00 per hour. Bobo could make only 10 breads in a day. Bobo made 40.00 per day.

    Johnson, whose labor costs was 6.00 an hour, but he could make 20 breads in a day. Johnson made 60.00 per day

    And Dude, whose labor costs was 8.00 per hour and could make 30 breads in a day. Dude made 80.00 per day.

    Fred, the owner of the company paid 180.00 per day (10 hour shift) to make his 60 breads which he sold for double the cost at 360.00, which came to about 6.00 a bread.

    The company sold all of its 60 breads and gross profited 180.00 per day
    Then Fred paid the rent, the electricity, the water, van payment, and the flour to make the bread which was ½ his gross profit. which he paid 90.00 per day in operations for all of these things. So Fred put in his pocket 90.00 per days to make and sell his breads.

    Now comes along Ken Hood and tell Bobo and Johnson, Fred is ripping you off! Hogging all that money for he-self! And you can’t buy a house on 40.00 per day! Then Buzzard Filler comes along and chastises Fred for being too greedy! We have to take care of the poor people!

    Then they say, we will fix this for you Bobo, I’m going to make Fred pay you all a very minimum of 8.00 per hour like dude, and you can’t be forced to work more than 8 hours a day! Because we are all caring and we care about you, the poor people! And by the way, make sure vote for us next election…

    So the all-caring politicians pass the new law.

    And now Fred has to pay 8.00 per hour to everyone plus overtime to make his same 60.00 breads.
    So to make the same 60 breads, now costs 192.00 for the first 8 hours, then 72.00 for the additional 2 hours of overtime for a total of 264.00 to make the same 60 breads.

    That mean Fred now if left with 96.00 gross profit, and his operational (rent, flour etc) costs were the same 90.00 per day. Leaving Fred with now 6.00 profit per day for making the same 60 breads.

    Now this is a question for the all-caring ultra-smart MLA’s pushing this: What do you think Fred does when this happens?

    FRED MAKES HIS OWN DAMN BREAD, AND BOBO, JOHNSON AND DUDE, CAN’T EVEN BUY BREAD ANYMORE!!

    Morons.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Perfect way of showing why CIG money handling is so screwed up. It also shows that it will not change in our lifetimes.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Just another long drawn out way of justifying why owners must keep the majority of the money and pay staff a less than basic salary, just because the owners live above their means. There will come a day when business owners in this country will realise that the 1000% mark up they so happily sticker on items, so they can afford their patrick island cottage, will be laughed at by consumers. The world is getting smaller and this notion that employees must live like impoverished plebs is ridiculous.

      Keep your economic bulls*it to yourself when it comes to justifying screwing hard working people out of basic salaries. You must think people wake up wanting to be poor and underfed. smh

  8. Anonymous says:

    Minimum wage, price control

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  9. V says:

    It would be interesting to find out if our benevolent Kings who own the grocery stores are really a lean as they say they are. My recent trip to the US and Canada would suggest we are getting hosed at our providers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Nothing new there! Friends of mine flew in from the USA earlier this year and were staggered by the store prices here. They reckon that just getting in a few basic items for snacks and to stock the room fridge cost them more than their normal weekly shop back home. I had the same reaction a few years ago when a couple came over from the UK. Having found they had to pay 4-star hotel rates for a motel-style room here they’d tried to keep costs down by buying food in and couldn’t believe how high the supermarket prices were.

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      • Anonymous says:

        8:23 Simple business logic at work here – we’ve got nowhere else to go so they can charge what the heck they like. It’s like everything else on these islands – however much money you earn you’re still going to end up screwed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yep….cartels, monopolies, the lodge…all creaming it off Caymanians and expats alike…in any other jurisdiction there would be enquiries and fines…even the UK…perhaps we should petition UK government for an independent inquiry?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Every trip to the supermarket you see the prices are going up. Stop issuing permits to common labourers and employ the locals.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    When the minimum wage issue was still being debated a few years ago, I was thoroughly against it for myriad reasons. And I warned all my naysayers that if a minimum wage is passed, there would only be a matter of time before there would be talks about raising it. So said, so done.

    The government has no place in forcing employers to pay their workers a set wage. The only role of the government in this context is enforce whatever contract exists between employer and employee.

    Let’s not forget who “minimum wage” type jobs are for – the low-skilled, the young, the old/retired who are looking for something to do, and in Cayman’s context, those low-skilled expats who would be making more money here anyway than their country of origin. I know this seems heartless (and can’t wait to see how many dislikes this comment will get) but when you start seeing the price of necessary goods increase, remember who warned you first.

    Selah

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  11. ian says:

    Cayman government need to cut back on spending and lower import duties included fuel. They need put a cap on rental cost to ensure it not increase above the inflation rate.

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  12. Anonymous says:

    An increase in work permit fees would encourage employers to recruit Caymanians, persons with PR and provide more training for their staff.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Caymanomics-it will encourage an already increasing trend of subcontracting as much work as possible to countries such as India…its happening precisely because of the costs associated with employment here and the need to maintain profit margins.

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    • Anonymous1 says:

      It will also encourage employers to close down shop and leave Cayman for good!

      Increase fees, taxes, or duties is not the solution! Study free market economics 101

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    • Ian says:

      They still pay increase work permit fees as it will pass on to people like you who buy stuff in Cayman means higher spending cost…..the solution is cut government spending, cut back staff and lower duties.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    qualifications does not make him any better than the rest of his fellow caymanians who voted him out because…………

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  14. Anonymous says:

    no easy conversation here. perhaps everyone needs a refresher on the purpose of a job. A purpose of job is not to collect a paycheck. A purpose of a job is to put in your human capital energy towards a set task, and in return for adequately completing that task, you are then compensated with money to which you can then spend how you see fit. That spending fuels the economy, which recycles back to firms, who then continue the cycle.

    the value to which you are compensated is linked to the “free market”. attempts to alter this by policies, invariably will continue increasing costs through the cycle.

    the government is not there to help able bodied individuals to get a job or make sure you pay your bills. it is every human’s responsibility to manage their finances, work hard, and be socially conscious. women, stop getting inseminated by men who don’t want to be fathers. men, recognize that you are failing to be strong men. parents, stop coddling your daughters and sons. grandparents, stop coddling your kids. government stop coddling your staff. schools stop coddling kids. expats stop being as*hats and making the problems harder to solve.

    it’s more prudent and carries stronger longevity to do the following:

    – ensure all boys and girls that are required by law to be receiving education, are receiving an education for which they will be able to convert that into human capital energy.

    – create industries outside of the current pillars of the economy, so that you are adequately diversified and not a slave to historical policies.

    – decrease identity politics which prevent successful growth

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    • Debbie does Dullards says:

      12 36. You are making sense. People do not want to listen to reason nor logic.
      So consequence is a fella that does not give a rats ass about reality.
      Amen 12 36.
      Wish we had more thinking folks like you.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth, with all due respect, that is bollocks. The inept and corrupt government of the Cayman Islands has created our woes.
    They are in charge, it is their fault.
    Why don’t you insist that your fellow politicians divulge their secret society membership and you will find the answers.
    But please, don’t talk sh@t and pretend to be a politician.

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  16. Anonymous says:

    marco proud man….kenneth down to earth…as is rest of ppm

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  17. Anonymous says:

    Putting on a tie and a pair of glasses does not help one in having the first clue what they are talking about.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Are you saying this is not true:

      “We can’t just keep on increasing the minimum wage, as businesses will simply pass that on to the consumer anyway, with a constant knock-on effect,” he said, suggesting that the discussion has to change. “What we need to think about is, have we created an environment in the Cayman Islands that is sustainable enough for business owners to pay people enough to live on?”

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      • Jotnar says:

        That is true. But the suggestion that by restricting the number of business licences to reduce competition will allow business owners to afford to pay more whilst still making a profit and without a similar impact on cost of living clearly is b/s. Does Mr Bryant seriously believe that reducing business competition is going to result in higher prices to the consumer?

    • Anonymous says:

      That’s painfully obvious

  18. Anonymous says:

    …. and Government processes are fueling inflation!!

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  19. MM says:

    Increasing the minimum wage does more harm than good and it is a band-aid solution to a bigger problem that is being caused by Gov itself.

    Divert the attention of the masses with something they can easily understand and relate to – it is easier than trying to educate them so that they can know when they are being dooped.

    Politics hasn’t changed much in the past 2 thousand years.

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  20. Anonymous says:

    So he’s identified the obvious problems but offered no solutions. How much are we paying him for this?

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    • Anonymous says:

      at least he has come forward saying there is a problem. Isn’t that the first step? Besides, don’t see anyone else saying anything.

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  21. Anonymous says:

    i love kenneth bryan over marco….he humble!

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    • Anonymous says:

      CNS, where is the laugh emoji?? LOL

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    • Anonymous says:

      With all of Marco Archer’s accolades and qualifications, he SHOULD be arrogant.

      But, he is not. Marco Archer is actually humble whereas Kenneth Bryan is an arrogant, ill-mannered individual.

      I dare say you have the two concepts confused as you do with the two individuals.

      The Country lost, when the PPM threw Marco Archer to the slaughter in the last elections held; an educated individual cannot deny this simple fact.

      As the old saying goes: “ignorance is bliss”.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    If you raise the minimum wage, you will still have the same nationalities working in the same positions on work permits for Caymanian businesses – which means more $$$ available to send back home to support families.

    Main reason that minimum wage earning foreign nationals are here is to support their families back home, isn’t it????

    Successive governments have done little on the cost of living (recently it was reported in http://www.expatistan.com that we are the most expensive place to live). Successive governments have done little to control the size of government, done little to address unfunded pensions liability, done little to control long-term healthcare cost for government employees, done little to address the ever increasing reliance upon NAU by Caymanians.

    Mr. Roy McTaggart is seen on gov.ky bragging about a supposed $201 million surplus in the first half of fiscal year – wonder if six months from now he will brag about the second half deficit???

    The model of governance that has been shown by successive governments in the past 25 years is certainly unsustainable – are we trying to copy and catch up with the US national debt? (hmnn, wonder what are per capita debt is in comparison with our beloved neighbour – the promised land – USA)

    Signed,

    On the Government Dole – thanks Moses Trump

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    • Anonymous says:

      Yep we are now 3rd next to Bermuda and Iceland.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Did you read the article?

      “We can’t just keep on increasing the minimum wage, as businesses will simply pass that on to the consumer anyway, with a constant knock-on effect,” he said, suggesting that the discussion has to change. “What we need to think about is, have we created an environment in the Cayman Islands that is sustainable enough for business owners to pay people enough to live on?”

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  23. Anonymous says:

    Should def have a higher minimum.

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  24. Anonymous says:

    How minimum wage was going to turn into the political football for re-election! AS-PREDICTED!

    Why run on accomplishment, and build better opportunities (Hard work) , when you can just force people to hand out more of their money to make yourself look like you actually accomplished something.

    When the relaity is you just keep incresing the cost of living, increase unemployment, and end up screwing over the very people they are supposed to help on the long run. Except those who vote for this, are usually too stupid to realize it, and vote for people like this, and the viscous circle keeps expanding.

    This is what happens when you elect incompetence. You count on this type of electioneering 100%, every single time, without fail.

    These guys would not understand basic economics if it slapped them in the face would a shovel repeatedly.

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  25. Anonymous says:

    I miss Marco Archer; so does the Country’s affairs!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Marco did nothing to help working class and poor people. Kenny cares about his constituents Marco talked and acted like he was better than everyone just like Alden who knew he couldn’t beat Kenny in GT Central so he set up Marco to lose. Marco lost because of his arrogance and that meltdown on Rooster when he verbally attacked Jevy and the radio production team live on air. He showed the country who he really is. Marco only has himself to blame but the ppm set him up with a sweet job at the stock exchange to heal his wounds and ego.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Poor people? PLEASE.

        Poor people need stop WAITING for hand-outs.

        That’s why you all HATE Marco, ‘cuz he don’t hand out anything to you for free.

        You should have to work just as he did for his!

        #Grow-up

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      • Anonymous says:

        Poverty in Cayman, is a mindset, unlike Rwanda where it’s a fact of life.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    Kenneth, try encouraging all your constituents to gain some more skills & qualifications. Then they will always be earning more than minimum wages. Education is the answer. Not moaning about stuff.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I have to laugh at you educated people. ”Education is the answer” Last time I checked its educated people that have Cayman island like the way it is today. The people elected you to defend the people and islands. Was it not educated people that made stock market crash in 2007 and made the world went into a recession?

      I never graduated from high school but I have AMBITION, With AMBITION I sent my child to CCC. and no mater how hard you educated people tried to kill my ambition I refuse to give up. My God don’t sleep or slumber

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      • Anonymous says:

        Rant much.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You say you have ambition, maybe you do, maybe you don’t. It’s your own opinion of yourself.

        However, the world won’t care about your “ambition” if you don’t even have a GED.

        Why weren’t you ambitious enough to graduate from high school, which is free in this Country?

        Why knock educated individuals just because you are not educated?

        Sign of your own ignorance. Good-luck.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Cayman islands is not a country its an island. they never teach you that in university ? Don’t you know nothing free is good,and it pays to learn? Yes I did made a mistake at that stage in life but I never sat on my ass and beg or steal or fall in prison. like many of well educated Caymanians I know .
          By the way, an old timer ”Caymanian” carpenter taught me more about trigonometry than what my teacher could. and he never had a masters degree..
          yes I agree that we need education and training that’s why I make sure to educate my children and I also show them that you need to have ambition because education is nothing without ambition.
          I really don’t give a shit about what the world thinks about me. as far as I am concern the world can continue to kiss my ass.
          I may not have a GED but I have construction trades and what I know cant be taken away from me.

          Thank you.

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      • Anonymous says:

        The issue, dear 8.53, is that you did not elect the educated ones…is that clear or do we have to name names?

    • Anonymous says:

      Education doesn’t mean squat with no place to apply it. More education and skills? Of course but how about more jobs for locals. Even then you can have a “good job” and still not be able to make it.

      My cousin just received his accounting degree and just got a job in a bank. After pension and health, he takes home just under $1900. He still lives at home because the cost of rent, the car he has to get a loan for, insurance, gas, food, utilities add up to more than that.

      He figured he would need a second job or wait 2 maybe 3 years, living at home before he could get something on his own.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You should ask the government to come up with recognised and needed qualifications to compete on the international stage. Up until now they have preferred to mimick other qualifications and Caymanise them, turn them into home grown qualifications which are not recognised anywhere. Try talk to your politicians about education if you want a fair playing field it is them depriving you of it.

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      • Anonymous says:

        We have enough accountants and lawyers!

        We need Caymanian teachers, nurses, doctors, etc…..

        And yes, even with a degree, starting off in any job you start at the bottom of the salary scale.

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      • Anonymous says:

        I make less than that and manage to not live at home, it’s called making sacrifices. I bought a cheap car and used it until I could save for a better one, no loan. I shared accommodation as I knew I couldn’t afford to live on my own. I only ran ac at night for a few hours to keep the bills down. I did all of this because being an adult involves getting out of your parents house and learning to make it on your own rather than relying on someone else to support you.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Your also not from here or dont have any future goals, thanks.

          • Anonymous says:

            I am Caymanian and am highly ambitious thank you very much. Not everybody has your attitude thankfully. My goals involved owning a car free and clear which I do, I bought a new one last year due to sacrificing on other things and saving money. My goals involve supporting myself, which I do. My goals involve home ownership which I am well on my way to because again I made sacrifices early on and saved my earnings. Not everyone expects it all to be handed to them. Would I like a better paying job? Of course I would and I am working my way towards getting one but until that day comes I make sacrifices.

  27. Anonymous says:

    Regards cost of living. I would only buy most consumer goods here as a last resort. I wouldn’t mind paying the same as in the US, plus 20%, plus a reasonable markup, however when things like electronics are between 50 to 100% more expensive, combined with 0 consumer protection, I’ll wait until I visit Miami.

    Allow shops to open 7 days a week, that way 1/7th of the time fresh(ish), expensive food is not being left on a shelf to rot. I’m sure the wastage overheads would drop.

    As for minimum wage, Bryan is clueless. Championing the little guy, as if a minimum wage is a panacea. The $6 minimum is great, as it protects those people in society who were previously being screwed with $3 to $5 wages.

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    • Mike says:

      You have got it wrong 7.16 am. If Cayman is really serious about getting non or low skilled Caymanians into jobs presently held by work permit holders who are not long term residents, then a decent minimum wage has to be set. Only cheap living expats can afford to work for those low wages because that money is worth much more in their native surrency. Cayman has to decide whether low paying business or Caymanians needing decent wages are more important. This dirty can has been kicked down the road long enough. Which govt. is going to have the balls to tackle this problem positively? Cayman-unkind to it’s own people?

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      • BeaumontZodecloun says:

        Exactly right, Mike. We aren’t going to address unemployment until they can all make a living wage, say $10/hour. Yes, consumer prices will go up, and yes, (hopefully!) more Caymanians will be employed, thus creating a decrease to CIG work permit fees.

        After that, the health care scheme must be fixed — perhaps nationalise Cinico, such that they are in the pool of providers for all mandatory health care.

        Still dreaming, so I’ll add on a trade school.

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      • alaw says:

        if the minimum wage is increase it will benefit the expat
        we are hiding the fact that they are the preferred workers
        its not (cheap labour )

  28. Anonymous says:

    govt taxing too much….needs to downsize….present system cant work ….headed for disaster…????

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Don’t like the minimum wage?

    If you have minimum skills
    minimum education
    show minimum motivation
    and provide minimum contribution to the work place

    why the hell should someone be forced to pay you more?

    a minimum wage job is not a job your supposed to be raising a family on. It’s a stepping stone to further education or experience to get a higher paying job.

    I said back then, that a minimum wage is a bad thing. What MADE cayman great is that the government allowed business’s to run their business model as they saw fit.
    If your wage was too low, no one would work for you. If you raised it and it was still too low, you had high turn over and very disgruntled employees.
    So as a business owner you had to find a happy medium that you were willing to live with and could afford.

    Then government stepped in, and I called it back then. I said, in this very paper. That minimum wage is a bad idea. It’s going to be a political platform and it will be raised to get votes.

    And all a minimum wage raise does it cause inflation. Stores will charge more for their products, to offset the cost of employees with the wage hike.

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  30. Anonymous says:

    AHA…didn’t i say it. When we thought about bringing in a minimum wage. I said it was a bad idea.
    For 2 reasons.
    1. its used for political pandering. Obviously there are more poor than rich. And everyone get a vote.
    2. Minimum wage causes inflation. And all introducing a minimum wage is going to do is rise, and I guessed in 10 years. It hasn’t even been 3 and they are already suggesting to raise it

    what MADE cayman great was there was no minimum wage. An employer set a wage. If no one wanted to work for that wage, he had to increase it or do all the work himself. When he finally does raise it, if it’s not enough. He will have miserable employees that do not stay very long.
    So a business owner must find that happy wage medium where people are willing to work for that wage, and his turn over isn’t so often, that he can properly staff their business.

    But no, government had to meddle in private business, something they have no business doing. And look at that, not even 5 years later, and a call for raising the minimum wage. As i called it back then, what would happen.

    at the rate this is going, since minimum wage was implemented every 5 years ago, you should be seeing a 18 dollar minimum wage in 10 years!

    no more house keepers and nannys for you!

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  31. My Business vs. Minimum Wage says:

    @ Commenter 8:18

    You are not seeing the repercussions, sir!

    I am a business owner, and I paid an unskilled Caymanian to work in my company for $4 dollars an hour. Now yes, this to many seem very unfair and like slavery. But to the Caymanian worker, he has happy with a job and we treated him like family. Yes $4 dollars an hour is not much but he can buy and barely get by. He still had our support. I agree as an employer its a bit low, but I gave the man a job! Get that?!!!

    Now lo and behold, our socialist government decides to bump up the minimum wage to $6 dollars an hour instead of fixing the economy! So like any other small business owner, what did I do? I had to fire the Caymanian! Because there was no way I could have paid that poor unskilled worker the same salary that my other workers with skills were making! I’m sorry .. but him sweeping floor for $6 dollars and them doing more for the said amount didn’t match! So I had to fire him because of the government!

    So later on, I advertised a new job position in the papers. Now you guys are tellin me, youre bumping up the minimum wage to $8 dollars an hour! So here is it. There is this other unskilled Caymanian who is interested in the job. But there is as well this Filipino expat lady who is able to do the same job but she is experienced in accounting. Pufff … this is a no brainer! I really wanted the Caymanian. But now you are telling me that given the choice between an unskilled Caymanian worker for $8 dollars an hour and a Filipino lady with more experience for the same rate, I must choose the less productive candidate?!

    smh … dont you see …

    By you guys raising the minimum wage, you make it more difficult for the unskilled Caymanian to find work! This is not my doing, this is your doing!

    Instead of you guys reducing fees and duties, lower the cost of doing business in the Cayman Islands, make it easier for Caymanians to start and own business, then we will have enough monies to employ more people and pay them good! But noooo… you guys think the problem of the economy must be solved by quick fixes and your bloated Civil Service is growing! Be careful, I don’t close shop and move elsewhere, because I will do and many will lose. I will not! 🙁

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    • Anonymous says:

      I think this is what Kenneth is saying. He is saying that $6 is not enough for people to live on but it’s not just about raising the wage it’s about fixing the other problems including the cost of doing business in the cayman islands especially for small business owners. The cost of Health Insurance, Rent and light are out of control. These need to be addressed and maybe the minimum wage does not need to be raised. Funny how all those anti-Kenneth people are all saying the same thing he is saying, they just don’t want to say their precious PPM have done anything wrong. What on earth are they doing right, I would like to know.

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  32. Anonymous says:

    kenneth…the king of populist waffle…..

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    • Anonymous says:

      plus he can’t grasp the fact that raising the wage will raise business costs and ultimately the cost of living.

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      • Anonymous says:

        In fairness, he did actually address that particular point……

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      • Anonymous says:

        “We can’t just keep on increasing the minimum wage, as businesses will simply pass that on to the consumer anyway, with a constant knock-on effect,” he said, suggesting that the discussion has to change. “What we need to think about is, have we created an environment in the Cayman Islands that is sustainable enough for business owners to pay people enough to live on?”

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  33. Anonymous says:

    This is the first time I have ever agreed with anything Mr. Bryant has said. A gas station on every corner means lower volume and therefore higher prices. Things like this need to be examined

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    • Anonymous says:

      You got that a lil backwards there bobo

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    • Anonymous says:

      Venezuela controls the number of gas stations and the price. Not working too well. More gas stations actually means lower prices and the ones that charge too much don’t get any customers.

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      • Anonymous says:

        10:48 In theory that should work. In fact it does not because they all get together and set the price. In any other country that would be illegal. Dont believe me just look at the price.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Unless they all raise their prices together. If the price difference is a few cents, of course you always go to the lowest but the same is true of all are either charging $3 a gallon or $5 a gallon. If it were a case of one charging $3.52 a gallon in East End and West bay is $4.54 then I’m driving to East End. Sadly the prices are varying by a few cents but still HIGH! Nothing to do with the number of gas stations or the price. It’s how much it costs to bring the damn gas into the country in the first place. If only the formula for synthetic fuel Germany used at the start of the second world war could be discovered again. Make cheaper fuel, that would help a LOT in lowering inflation as one of the biggest indexes to boost prices is shipping/transportation aka fuel.

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        • Anonymous says:

          With the new station by the airport, there is now a $0.30 or higher per gallon difference between brands. See how that works?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Say what?

      More competition equals higher prices!

      Now I have heard it all.

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      • Anonymous says:

        U missed the point. There is no competition

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        • Anonymous says:

          Say what?

          These is a “gas station on every corner” but there is “no competition” .

          Dude, that would be really stupid to build a “gas station on every corner” because there is “no competition”.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Raise the minimum wage and more people will actually have money to purchase from these small businesses.. If they go out of business then maybe that means their market is too saturated to have enough demand that allows a living to be made from it.

    If your small business idea is a abc type of shop shop in a plaza with 5 other abc shops, maybe you rethink your strategy / venture.

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Boy, Kenneth outshining these career man politicians that been up in the Legislative Assembly for years sucking up that fat paycheck and double-dip Pension, with nothing to show for it.

    Good for you KB, fight the good fight.

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