McTaggart: PACT should give surplus back to people

| 28/06/2022 | 94 Comments
Cayman News Service
Leader of the Opposition Roy McTaggart

(CNS): The rising price of goods has increased the Cayman Islands Government’s revenue and it “cannot be right” that the CIG benefits from inflation “while the people suffer”, Opposition Leader Roy McTaggart said in the latest PPM video, and he called on PACT to give back the surplus by funding more relief measures. Following the announcement that some COVID-19 restrictions have been lifted and rosy news about public finances up to the end of May, the opposition leader said government had the money to fund more direct help for the people.

With a surplus of around CI$180 million and access to the $400 million loan that the PPM had arranged, he urged the government to block the Water Authority’s request for an increase in water rates for at least six months and persuade the executives at the private supplier, Cayman Water, to do the same. He also suggested that the CIG ask CUC to minimise increases in the cost of electricity, remove the import duty on gasoline and diesel for six months and ensure gas stations pass on the savings, and continue the COVID-19 tourism stipends.

In a video message released Monday, McTaggart also called for more money for retired seamen, veterans, and those dependent on financial assistance from the government, including retired civil service pensioners receiving even less than the current social welfare benefits. “These are some of the most vulnerable in our communities and will need the help to ensure they can keep their head above water financially,” the opposition leader said.

He welcomed the measures government is planning, such as the decision to retain the pension holiday for another three months, which he said he suspected would be extended to the end of the year. However, he said the CIG had to do more to help people through this time, noting that no single measure will solve the problem. “But collectively, they can help our people survive what is still an unknown storm,” he said.

The PPM leader said the $400 million line of credit it had negotiated, which the PACT Government recently drew down, was intended to be used for just such a situation that the country currently faces with soaring inflation. This, he said, was in addition to the record government revenues, including import duty, which gave the government room to do much more.

“The fact is that as prices of goods rise, the government is earning additional revenues from these higher
prices. It cannot be right that government benefits from the rising prices while the people suffer.
So, funding the relief measures I have recommended should not be an issue,” McTaggart said.

However, much of the additional revenue to government coffers has come from stamp duty on the sale of property to wealthy investors and an increase in fees and taxes from the offshore sector, as well as an increase in work permits, rather than day to day purchases being made by residents.

While McTaggart welcomed the new regulations rolled out at the weekend, he said more restrictions needed to be lifted, adding that he expected the CIG would soon need to lift the restrictions on unvaccinated visitors.

“Tourism cannot return to ‘normal’ levels without us accepting unvaccinated tourists. I do hope that government will provide all of us with their plans or thinking, including a potential timeline, for removing the remaining restrictions,” the PPM leader stated, adding that the government needed to work on persuading more people to get a booster shot.

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Category: Government Finance, Politics

Comments (94)

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  1. Annoyed says:

    If memory serves Mac ‘temporarily’ raised import duties by 2% in 2009. Why haven’t those been rolled back?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I don’t remember the Government in the last 12 years giving back the surplus back to any of the Caymanian people. I don’t quite understand why they make suggestions they themselves never did or was willing to consider.

  3. Worked hard to live poorly says:

    Thank you. Many of us are in the same space. In most of the world, the government is not the largest employer, and people work toward a time when they can retire comfortably. Our pension scheme is a huge failure. Our health insurance is a huge failure.

    We need to nationalise CINICO such that we have a broader base of members and less cost. I pay $350/month to CINICO, which only covers catastrophic care. It’s better than nothing.

    If we are to continue a mandatory pension, we have to fund it such that it truly supports those who paid into it. I am fortunate to own my own home. If I had to pay rent, I’d be a NAU recipient. Probably should be, looking at those around me who have never had a job and live at the same level.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    Slow down on a day out and about and take a look around your surroundings. Take in the construction. Ask yourself who it is all for?

    Is it for the displaced tourism workers, the low wage and horrifically underpaid service and menial labor workers, the overworked nannies?

    Cayman is gone for the common man, woman, and child.

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    • Anonymous says:

      when you hear of one person buying 7+ units in a development you start to realize they are aiming to make the average person rent until death.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Roy, the more you open your mouth, the more I come to realize that me not voting for you last year was the smartest decision I made that day.

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  6. Anonymous says:

    Thats it? the answer? .. make sure we take another booster so we can let in Unvaccinated people.

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  7. Anonymous says:

    Can’t believe this lot have the testicular fortitude to come out with this rubbish after spending years selling off Cayman. Trying to sound like they care after filling their pockets. Sit down old fella.

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  8. Anonymous says:

    this is bold coming from the party that sold out to investors lol im sure if they were in out roy would be silent and not have a word to say. please just stop trying to get into the new, its easy to talk when youre the opposition. Ppm has done NOTHING to show its for the people. Unless the “people” are rich investors and money hungry people like them of course.

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  9. Anonymous says:

    Decades ago the politicians developed policies for the long term future of Caymanians…..the PPM and PACT care only about their short term political careers.

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    • Anonymous says:

      You are wrong, they want a long term forever career at a huge monthly payout plus all the fringe benefits that go with it.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Giving away money does not work well.

    Start a sovereign fund and do not touch it for 10 years.
    After 10 years the interest and accumulation can be used for country building, parks, road maintenance, hospital and school upgrades.

    This trashing of governments that have been elected on both sides is not healthy.

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    • Anonymous says:

      By the unnecessary and economically short sighted reliance on work permit fees for record revenues, the PPM and now PACT have created a welfare state with the biggest Caymanian employer being a huge inefficient CIG. Starting with Alden you have had the stupidest and most inept government ever. They have actually destroyed the system debeloped by much smarter men during decades before. But hey those guys didnt have Sunday music!

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    • Anonymous says:

      But most of the time it’s deserved!!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      It does if you are on the receiving end!

  11. Anonymous says says:

    The poor needs help too, they need to eat just like everyone else remember God looks out for the poor and he will help them 🙏

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  12. Anonymous says:

    Disingenuous at best! What manipulative hypocrisy coming from the party that did NOTHING in its 12 years in power to help middle and working class Caymanians. But instead, became a puppet government for rich investors. Shame on you.

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  13. Anonymous says:

    It’s easy to pit blame on the “other side” when you are not in power. Both sides of the aisle have lacked heavily when it comes to helping Caymanians, so I don’t want to hear this old man.

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  14. Anonymous says:

    What is it about being elected to Parliament that turns normally sensible people into complete imbeciles?

    Here are a few cost-saving ideas you overlooked Roy:
    1. Was it necessary to vote “yes” to every pay raise for MPs while the rest of the country was suffering?
    2. Is it fair that the average Caymanian in the private sector works 30+ years with very little in retirement benefits at the end of it but MPs get full retirement benefits (on the inflated salaries) after 8 years of doing nothing?
    3. Same as #2 for health care.
    4. Does it really make good business sense to sell government goods and services below costs (using the political excuse that you are now espousing of keeping costs down for ‘poor’ people) and after the entity has been run into the ground to then turn around and sell it to friends the private sector who will raise prices and make huge profits from it?

    What this country needs more than anything else is term limits on politicians. One term of 4 years. Whether your service was good, bad, or indifferent, get your ass out and don’t come back. And don’t be asking for pension or health care for the rest of your life for the service you gave. We all serve the country by getting up and going to work each day.

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  15. Anonymous says:

    Yes. Give some of the money you took from the people in taxes back so it seems like your spending it on them. Only the very ignorant will be happy with this. It is working well here.

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  16. Joe B says:

    In the last ten years has it gotten easier for Caymanians to live in Cayman without government help or harder? When(and it’s coming)it becomes too expensive for a Caymanian to live and work in Cayman(because of the high taxes, or duty as taxes are called here) will the UK allow them to move over to making the UK Government feed them? The problem with Cayman Islands are that it is full of unemployable people who are ignorant about how to live responsibly and leadership that take full advantage of them. Where do you see Caymanians living in ten years?

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  17. ThIs WrItInG Is VeRy IrRiTaTiNg says:

    … or they could invest in proper education so no one gets left behind. Handouts are temporary measures that don’t help the people receiving them in the long run. Raise the minimum wage to a something sensible so people can earn a living and stop importing poverty.

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  18. Anonymous says:

    Its definite easier to say what people want to hear when you are not in power to action it

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  19. Anonymous says:

    Let the politicians lead the way, by giving back the huge increases they gave themselves!

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    • Anonymous says:

      I second that! I find it disgusting to hear the bluster that is being thrown around now! I also find it somewhat contradicting as to what actions were taken to help Caymanians during the PPM days. Politics are a dirty business.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Some of the highest paid members of parliament in the world, in one of the smallest places in the world!

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  20. Anonymous says:

    Politicians are not trying to solve our problems they are trying to solve their own, which are being elected and being re-elected, everything else comes far after

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  21. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Sir Alden and Honorable Roy. Give us money now as we are all broke. Only the rich have money and us poor people need money. Only PPM cares about us poor people. Love PPM

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  22. Memo to Roy says:

    Memo to Roy: It isn’t necessary for you to issue a press release on every single thing that happens. Maybe just shut up once in a while?

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    • Anonymous says:

      Ha ha ha ha! That’s funny!

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    • Anonymous says:

      You may not like him and that may or may not be justified but he’s doing his job.

      Is it necessary for you to comment on every article you read, adding zero value to the discussion? Pretty sure nobody needs to hear from you if all you have to say is “shut up”.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Roy speaking reminds me of the first thought that would pop into my head during lockdown and Jon-Jon’s daily ramblings with our Govt updates……STFU followed swiftly with a departure from the show.

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    • Mumbichi says:

      Yes, and Part II of that question, if you don’t mind:

      Mr. McTaggart, please list for us every instance in which the PPM gave a surplus ‘back to the people’. In fact, please list any instance in which the PPM gave anything to the people. Hams, turkeys, and appliances don’t count.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Only PPM members and supporters got the hams, turkeys and Appliance. My neighbor always told me to just take it when they come around because she always did and they expected her to vote for them but she couldn’t stand the ground they walked on. Whenever I saw them coming I would hide as if they were Jehovah’s Witnesses. I didn’t want anybody thinking I was taking their handouts. I need more than turkey and ham in exchange for my vote and all of my appliances are working just fine..

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    • Anonymous says:

      This isn’t a press release though lol. It’s this new “Let’s talk” initiative, and the press are (rightly) reporting on any pertinent soundbytes.

      I’d say it’s quite effective and good to have both parties represented (PACT by Sandra and CMR) and PPM via their approach

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  23. Anonymous says:

    handout capital of the world(if you are caymanian).

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    • Anonymous says:

      No need to be Caymanian. Thousands of expatriates are now at the trough – all while many Caymanians cannot access the help and services they need.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Pray tell us about all of these alleged handouts to expatriates?

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        • Anonymous says:

          How many expatriates (many the children of expatriate civil servants) got a free lunch at school today? How many expatriates are in the households receiving NAU assistance? At last word 20,000 households were receiving government assistance. How many Permanent Residents continue to receive tourism stipends? Millions of dollars continue to be squandered, while Caymanians in genuine need cannot get services.

    • Anonymous says:

      No, only if you are a PPM supporter…

  24. Anonymous says:

    CNS did you photoshop out Roy’s dowsing rods? Maybe he’s looking for that vein of surplus money underground?

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  25. Anonymous says:

    I generally support the PPM but dropping the vaccine requirement for visitors is madness.

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  26. Anonymous says:

    This coming from the government that gave millions away in stamp duty to foreign investors.
    The guy is a joke

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  27. N says:

    What is truly and despicably unfair is that PPM gave the highest earners (including MP’s) a 16% raise some eighteen months ago, and PACT has joined them with that, whilst coming up with 2% in September and one increment in December to the other civil servants….during this time of rapid inflation. Truly disgusting! I do agree with McTaggart that civil servants meeting retirement criteria and finding their retirement benefit is less than NAU indigent poor relief MUST be addressed! No civil servant should be retiring with less than the benefit of poor relief!
    PLEASE PACT / PPM / Deputy Governor – address this NOW! And make the raise for others more in line with actual inflation!

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  28. Anonymous says:

    Roy you are embarrassing yourself and insulting our intelligence. You are insincere and a puppet for Sir Alden. The PPM cannot be trusted and work for the wealthy class. Why didn’t the PPM do more to help the majority and address cost of living when they were in power for eight years?

    We will never forget how PPM sold out the majority Caymanians and gave our country away.

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  29. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Mr Mctaggart at least someone is looking out for us. Don’t pay any mind to the nay sayers they are just upset that the wonderful PACT is not keeping promises. Case in point Kenneth Bryan’s plea to the people to watch their backs! That comment says it all! It means the PACT Government is not looking out for us! At least Kenneth is honest

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  30. Victor Look Lot says:

    Why give the middleman, just give it to CUC, the banks and supermarkets, and the pension providers and save a lot of time.

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  31. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same Roy who was part of the PPM that was fine with using the peoples money against them for lobbying for the cruise port ?

    Sit down Roy, your soundbites are only alienating you from integrity further. 🛳🪑

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  32. Anonymous says:

    Populist garbage.

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  33. Anonymous says:

    That’s rich. Over 12 years, the PPM gave away hundreds of.millions in favorable land swaps, easements, duty waivers and developer incentives to the company that Roy’s wife now works for, and even Roy as the qualified money handler during that period is on the record stating that nobody in his administration was keeping track of those trades against the people’s account.

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  34. Anonymous says:

    Here we go again..Roy please!

    Can somebody please tell him and Alden they are no longer relevant and to stop acting like they give a $hit!

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  35. Anonymous says:

    Roy, FFS, please try to understand that the government can’t keep giving away everything they bring in. Yes, some people do need help but this wholesale of let’s give it away and not plan for another tough time is ridiculous.

    My belief with this it is the typical Alden bait and switch..Harass and bully the government into giving it away and then blaming them for spending it when they start campaigning.

    The PACT Government needs to hold the course and not fall prey to the PPM foolishness.

    The PPM had 12 years and did nothing to help us, instead they XXXX traveled the world hob knobbing with the wealthy in places like Monaco, Dubai, Hong Kong and elsewhere. All of that money could have been set aside for a rainy day instead they spent it on high end yachts and hotels..they make me sick!

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  36. Anonymous says:

    *_so the rainy days are not coming to Cayman*_

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  37. Anonymous says:

    The gall of a statement.

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  38. Anonymous says:

    They are already helping! by giving the already well paid civil servants an extra $150 for the next 3 months to help them manage the rising costs of electricity. What a joke

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    • Kerrither says:

      6;37. Well paid civil servants. Are you serious. You mean the highly paid private sector and their fat bonuses.

      Please leave our hard working civil servants alone. They deserve ever penny they get.

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      • Anonymous says:

        You do realise the private sector bonuses come from the profits of the company, rather than the public purse?

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    • Anonymous says:

      The civil servants that are getting the 150 are on the lower part of the pay scale.

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  39. Anonymous says:

    Where were your actions to the people when you were in power, Mr. Genius ?
    With that, In fact, PPM owes us quite a LOT.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Uh Roy was never in full power,although he should be now,
      Mr. Genius

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    • Anonymous says:

      The ppm gave themselves a big,big rsise of pay for themselves that’s what they did, but did nothing to help the other people.

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  40. Anonymous says:

    Oh I heard that PACT were helping but only the civil servants. They are giving them an extra $150 per month towards their electricity bills. So let’s help the people that already earn a high reliable income and stuff everyone else. How does that make any sense at all!

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    • Anonymous says:

      What about pensioners – all pensioners, not just civil servants. I’m Caymanian, worked hard. Paid off my mortgage but never had enough to save more. Educated my kids who work hard but don’t earn enough to help me financially. I now get $1200 a month to pay health insurance, utilities and food. I need my car (I’m not on a bus route). I’ve given up my TV subscription but still struggling. How do I pay increasing insurance, medical co payments, CUC, gas for my car, water bills?

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  41. Anonymous says:

    NAU should cease assistance to the baby machines, who have never held a job. They are given assistance and continue to have more children. Why? Offer temporary assistance and let them know they must find a job by a certain time. This type of life-style is not acceptable in these islands that had such hard working people,, who never sat down waiting on handouts. Hard work is the key to success.

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  42. Anonymous says:

    I really do understand and appreciate that these are hard times for some people, who are hard working, financially responsible and finding it difficult to make ends meet. However, I am becoming more and more concerned with both Political parties, now leaning heavily to the left, where their answer to problems is “let’s give more to the people”.

    It is very clear, that we are now well on our way down that slippery slope and gaining speed. When the ‘Money Well’ that these idiots don’t think can run dry, does run dry. Then what? They will first try to borrow more and when that fails, try to tax their way out. Not to be an alarmist but Direct Taxation cometh!

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  43. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Mctaggart why didn’t your government do that when you was in power instead of giving it to Dart.

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    • Anonymous says:

      Because the Dart company does so many great & wonderful things for the Cayman Islands. They have single-handedly brought Cayman into the 21st century and made us the jewel of the Caribbean. We would be nothing without Mr. Dart. You should be grateful that PPM knows this and took good care of our dumpling. Look at all the wonderful high paying jobs they provide, all the wonderful hotels and building they are doing. Bums like you need to leave as we do not need your king here.

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  44. Anonymous says:

    Alden and all unna should give back to the people the millions you all wasted over the years.

    Now that is what you should be saying.

    Nothing less and nothing more.

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  45. Anonymous says:

    Ha ha ha ha ….what did u guys do to help poor when u were in office? Yes mr. Billionaires….yes….absolutely amazing!!!!

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