If you have people in your life who like to take vacations, then the Cayman Islands are a destination that has probably come up in conversation. Places like the Reef Resort, Sunshine Suites Resort and the Turtle Nest Inn are all places that tourists have enjoyed while walking on the sandy beaches and overlooking the crystal clear water.
Yet, that is not the only reason why the Cayman Islands have been considered to be such a wonderful find. For those making a living there (literally), they have been able to experience a lot of freedom from much financial drama and trauma. For this reason alone, a lot of people are not too happy with the recent news that there is currently a tax that is being proposed on the Cayman Islands for foreign workers living there.
The reason for this “going against tradition” transition? Well, according to Premier McKeeva Bush, just like most places in the world at this time, the Caribbean Islands are no exception when it comes to feeling the financial crunch. So, he is proposing a 10 percent payroll tax on those who are foreign workers in the Cayman Islands who are making more than $20,000 annually. Bush believes that this move will actually do more good than harm because the additional monies that it brings in will prevent approximately 500 public workers from having to cease their employment on the Islands. The tax will also keep foreign employers from having to contribute to the pension funds that they currently do now.
Of course, there is always another side to things and many people have not been hesitant in sharing it on a mass media level. One article that was recently featured on the Cayman New Service website stated that rather than the government officials making the time to explore other options, they are taking “the easy way out” by choosing a tax resolution that affects individuals who are not actually on the electoral list. As matter of fact, some people are so impassioned by the issue that they have contributed to a Facebook petition that is focuses on being against the taxation move. It currently has a little under 9,000 members.
Yet, by looking at this from an even broader perspective, when are people ever excited about an introduction to or increase in taxes, even when it’s for their benefit in the long run? If it is indeed true that this tax will save jobs, then even if it is an initial “inconvenience”, isn’t paying out 10 percent of the money that you’re actually making better than getting no income at all? Indeed, while foreign workers reportedly make up about half of the Cayman Islands workforce, it would still seem that if they really believed that this would keep their jobs from being in jeopardy, they would be, maybe not happy about the proposed change, but at least less publically resistant against it.
Then again, the key word here is “proposed tax”. Nothing is set in stone and there are many steps that must be completed for this to become a reality. However, sometimes the things that we like the least are the most necessary. We’ll all have to wait and see if this taxation falls into that list.