‘While Cayman Acts, Bermuda Dithers’

September 19, 2011

With the Cayman Islands looking to suspend their work permit term limits, Shadow Finance Minister Bob Richards said the “Bermuda Government’s partial retreat from the policy earlier this summer through a programme of limited work permit exemptions for key worker was de facto acknowledgment that its policy was hurting the people of Bermuda and the Island’s attractiveness as a business centre. Cayman, our competitor, instead of just thinking about it, has taken action to help its people and put Cayman first.”

A fellow British Overseas Territory with a similar population size to Bermuda, the Cayman Islands also earns income through the international business sector. This past Wednesday [Sept.14] Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush said he would ask Cabinet to temporarily suspend Cayman’s term limit on foreign workers’ residency for up to two years to allow for a comprehensive review of the policy.

Premier Premier Paula Cox responded to the news of Cayman’s intended policy change, saying, “The benefit of the Bermuda immigration model is that it is dynamic and this move by Cayman highlights the flexibility of our policy. Our approach differs from Cayman as they embedded their rollover policy in law, so it lacks the nimbleness of the Bermuda model which is a policy, not a law.”

“I do not think that Cayman’s actions alone on this front make Bermuda less competitive. The way they process work permits and the cost of work permits has always been a problem for them. For example, our charge of $20,000 for a 10-year work permit is less than what their fee is for an executive for one year ($25,000),” said the Premier.

The full statement by Mr Richards is below:

Premier McKeeva Bush of Cayman recently said something important when explaining why his government was ending term limits for a period of two years.

He said when people are forced to leave Cayman because of the policy, “rental apartment revenues are lost, plumbers, electricians, shopkeepers, supermarkets, construction companies, heavy equipment operators, truck owners and every other business feels the economic impact in these islands.”

Mr. Bush was acknowledging that his government’s policy was hurting the economic well-being of Caymanians. The Bermuda Government’s partial retreat from the policy earlier this summer through a programme of limited work permit exemptions for key worker was de facto acknowledgment that its policy was hurting the people of Bermuda and the Island’s attractiveness as a business centre.

Cayman, our competitor, instead of just thinking about it, has taken action to help its people and put Cayman first.

Here at home, the Government is putting pride before country – unwilling to change one of its signature policies despite evidence that it is neither working for the benefit of Bermudians nor enhancing the Island’s attractiveness as a business centre.

We think in their heart of hearts the Government knows its policy is wrong for the Island but that saving face is too important to them.

The cornerstone of OBA policy is to put Bermuda first. In the matter of term limits, this means changing the policy to better serve the people of this country.

We say and we have said: End term limits for job categories that normally get 90% waivers. Put in place policies that work for Bermudians. Don’t allow political pride to come before the interests of the people.

Cayman is addressing the issue – and improving its competitive position – while the Bermuda Government “proudly” watches.

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  1. hogwash says:

    Give me a break. Was it not Richards who said he would move out of Bermuda under a plp government? He seems to enjoy the good life here and knows this is where he make big bucks.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      Everyone else is leaving numbnuts.

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      • James says:

        Well I'm still here! So not "everyone" ISN'T leaving.

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        • sandgrownan says:

          Perhaps you don't run a "re" or "fund"..or maybe you do, and if you do, how many of your employees are no longer here?

          Dickwad Burch said many moons ago that IB wouldn't leave, well it is leaving, slowly, dribbling away to more busienss friendly jurisdictons.

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          • James says:

            Does "business friendly" mean the store should be given away?! Tell me, oh learned friend, what (from your point of view) is NOT "business friendly" about Bermuda? If you were the OBA what would you do to make Bermuda "business friendly"?

            Class is in!

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            • sandgrownan says:

              kill term limits completely across all sectors. Kill immigration red tape. Make it easy for *gasp* foreigners to purchase property, reduce the tax on property for overseas purchasers.

              Bermuda NEEDS foreign currency right now...unless you want my other solution, which to a xenophobic Bermudian would be too much to stomach...

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              • James says:

                How come your explanation seems to be similar to "selling the cow to get the milk"?! In your answer you seem to be giving away the country to get foreign currency. What happens after we have tons of longterm foreign residents who own most of Bermuda and they decide to leave Bermuda because of some other external issue? We won't actually own anything in our country! This portion of yours needs a rethink.

                Your immigration and property tax initiatives are spot on. But while I don't agree with the current term limits policy, I believe we have to be prudent and have some sort of control. But it needs to be more flexible than it is currently. You can't tell me a happy medium cannot be found between the needs of IB and the protection of Bermuda.

                Seeing that I'm not at all a xenophobic Bermudian, lay your "other solution" on me. We might agree once again.

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                • Sandgrownan says:

                  Who cares who owns what? Really. Does it actually matter.

                  How much do you think a status certificate is worth?

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                  • Truth (Original) says:

                    @Sondgrownan. You owed a better response than that.

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                    • Sandgrownan says:

                      How much do you think status is worth? Simple question.

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                  • James says:

                    Yeah it matters, I want my children to have SOMEPLACE to live later in life. Ya think!?! Just a little thought like that is important to me and I bet a few other people in the world. "Who cares who owns what?", how stupid does that sound?!

                    From your answers, I might have been mistaken to think I could have a meaningful conversation with you and actually learn something. Please show me that I'm wrong.

                    I couldn't guess at what a status certificate is worth, but I bet you do since you brought it up

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                    • Sandgrownan says:

                      Well, ultimately we have around a billion dolalrs in debt. We haven't the revenue (aka tax base) to support that extravangance, we have declining birth rates, an ageing population to support plus the spectre of an idotic PPP/PFI plan for a new hospital. Who pays for that?

                      We have an IB sector that has been hounded out by rhetoric and idiotic policy. What we going to do? Spend 70m to widen Town Cut? F*cking morons.

                      Thanks to the PLP we do not have the luxury of saying who can own what. This is the PLP's legacy. We need foreign currency, and we need it now.

                      We need to remove the tax on non-Bermudian purchasers of property. We need to remove all obstacles and red tape. Get people borrowing, get the banks lending and stimulate the local economy. A dead real estate sector is a dead economy.

                      Get rid of term limits.

                      Secondly, sell full Bermuda status certificates complete with all the privilege they offer. Sell 2000 at half a million bucks eahc. There you go, 1 billion.

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                    • James says:

                      @ Sandgrownan's 20/SEP/3:25 post, there was no reply button.
                      Wow mate, I think not only have you sold the cow but you've got your house, car, kids, dog, and PB&J sold as well. You've hit the panic button about 30 times and now you're either headed for the hills or perhaps you're writing from there already.

                      Granted the national debt is a bad mistake, and shows very bad lack-of-judgement for the current government. And some policies need to be adjusted, revoked, or redone. But hey, don't lose it just yet ok! There are some pretty smart people around (not the government) that know how to plan out of this current circumstance, its not the first time and it won't be the last. We'll be ok as soon as this mess (not just in Bermuda) corrects itself, the main thing is NOT to panic.

                      It took us a while to get into this mess it will take even longer to get out of it, but we will come out of it. Changed, bruised perhaps, maybe a broken leg, but we will survive Sandgrownan.

                      Oh, and as a side note PPPs work pretty well there are some well known organizations, governments, industries, and sectors that use and are planning to use them for major developments/projects. Idiotic wouldn't be a word I'd use to describe their usage.

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                    • Sandgrownan says:

                      James - any better ideas? Really? Actually, it is the first time to such an extent.

                      On PPP/PFI - this has been the MO of successive governments in the UK for the past 20 years, as a way of keeping public borrowing off the balance sheet. Only recent accounting changes have exposed it for the sham it is. I refer you to Paul Foot's 2003/2004 expose of the PPP/PFI debacle and the recent UK Commons select committee report on the same subject. The real fault with PPP/PFI is that is passes the debt on to future generations. You don't get the service or quality required, and it costs you more becasue it costs more for private entities to borrow than it does governments. You end up guaranteeing profits and subsidising beyond the original deal.
                      PPP only works for the contractors and politicans steeped in short termism. It doesn't work as a model for providing public services, especially education & healthcare. Be happy to discuss further.

                      It's not a surprise that the PLP a diving head first into this. Wonder who the "real" prinicpals of Paget Health Care are?

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                    • sandgrownan says:

                      James - here you go, today's Daily Telegraph. And this is not new news...people have been talking about the folly of PPP/PFI for years.

                      http://www.telegraph.co.uk/health/healthnews/8780363/NHS-hospitals-crippled-by-PFI-scheme.html

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                    • sandgrownan says:

                      http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/2011/sep/22/pfi-schemes-nhs-trusts-brink-financial-collapse

                      Same story, in The Guardian. Your children, James, will be paying for this. But, hey. as long as they own a little piece of the rock it's OK

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      • Black Soil says:

        Deep down we all know brother Bob is right. And the truth bugs the crap out of his critics.

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      • ross says:

        @ Sandy - Not everyone.. mostly those that simply want their cake and ice cream and a helping of yours as well.

        There is no doubt that we rely on IB for the many accesses that we have gained over the past 20 years and still covet today. In doing so we have allowed ourselves to be manipulated by the new puppet masters,whenever and however they choose.

        It is a tried, tested and perfected game plan that has been successfully played universally. When the former government shifted, no ran from tourism they did so for personal gain. Corporate law and accounting firms saw the significant financial gains that could be made and the real estate barons & banks licked their lips in anticipation.

        It is clear that some Bermudians have done quite well as a result, to include myself, however I am not oblivious to the many problems that go hand in hand in with greed and self serving motives. However many Bermudians have not benefitted from the riches that others have realised. In fact their standard of living has regressed significantly.

        It is both misleading and a tad nauseating to hear folk talk about how bad it will get without IB as if it isn't already terrible for those that can't ( even prior to redundancies of late ) pay the incredible rents that were / are the norm.

        We are a country, that under the previous government lacked a moral spine and sadly that hasn't changed under this motley crew...

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      • No BOBO says:

        Bob is the scaremonger. don't believe a word he. can't leader he can't win.

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      • yes they are packing up and leaving and going to the UK and getting on the DOLE until they catch up with them then they will head back home to Bermuda..

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      • hogwash says:

        sandgrownbye - the fact is Richards and Family is still here.

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        • sandgrownan says:

          Indeed, and so am I. Perhaps, its because it's his home? But he aint bringing revenue like IB, and THEY are leaving.

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          • hogwash says:

            Richards said if PLP ran the country he was going to LEAVE and he's still here you are not answering the point

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            • Sandgrownan says:

              Who cares? Why don't you ask him, I don't know.

              You know the 1998 scaremongeirng about the PLP was unfounded, Richards was wrong to make that statment then, at the time, however with the benefit of hindsight, he has been proved correct.

              The pLP are a disaster.

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            • 32n64w says:

              AFAIK Bob Richards has never said that. Cite your reference(s) please hogwash (and no, mentioning that Senator Furbert or any other PLP source said he said it is not a reliable source).

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            • star man says:

              Bob Richards unequivocally denied ever saying that during his speech at the recent OBA leadership convention. Which was streamed live right here.

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    • Bermyman says:

      Reference where and when he said that?

      Do you understand that economic climate is different than it was 12 years ago? Bermuda is no longer the place to make Big Bucks! That the damaging policies of the PLP and inhospitable attitude of their supporters has already driven many companies to re-domicile in Switzerland which in turn means they employ less people in Bermuda on each end of the spectrum, rent fewer houses, invite fewer clients down etc = BAD FOR THE ECONOMY. Bermuda is no longer a first class place to do business under the PLP. The rise in violent crime also does not help, especially when I know of a few high profile expat workers who have been burgled over the last couple of months.

      I work in the industry and over the past 5 years I have never heard a positive thing said by any Exec, Bermudian or Non-Bermudian about the PLP's policies and treatment of the industry. NEVER.

      If the PLP get into power for another term. I see International Business looking to Cayman and Switzerland rather than Bermuda. They have done so already. Alot more rests on this election than people think.

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      • ross says:

        Bermy guy --- Those that opt to move to Switzerland are moving mostly for reasons beyond our control and seriously moving to cayman to escape crime is a joke.. Have a look at their murder rates & crime in general.

        Again, we have placed far to many of our eggs in this one basket and have given all the power to brokers that want it all and on their terms, regardless of the associated problems that are created as a result. This is not new. This model has been used everywhere in the world by big corporations that promise everything if you are prepared to give up everything..They know that politicians can be corrupted and that they will find willing partners in the private sector. They knew that these fine citizens will sell their souls for a dollar and will act as scaremongers and naysayers to maintain the status quo. They knew because thay have seen this play out time and again world wide.

        IB ( Insurance ) at the expense of the tourism industry was and remains a flawed policy, designed to make a few very rich, some rich and the majority of us having to deal with the nasty residuals such as high rents/ home prices/ taxed infra structure, etc, etc.

        We live in this false economy that has crashed & burned and the sucking sound of companies moving off island has far less to do with our immigration policies than is honestly discussed and more to do with the world economy going on a walkabout and the US and other countries trying to find much needed income.

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        • Bermyman says:

          I never said they would move to Cayman because of crime, but they will not want to remain in Bermuda. Yes we put too many eggs in one basket but by your logic we should therefore allow IB to leave, ignore it!!?? No, we should have continued to develop our tourism product but we didn't, we have done nothing usefull with it in the last 12 years. We could develop it going forward but at present do not have a viable and effctive tourism plan in place, the PLP continue to dither. SO, if we encourage more international business to redomicile elsewhere by allowing or competitors to take the lead, then we will allow the single most important pillar in our economy to decline and that will mean less $$ in the Bermuda economy.

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        • star man says:

          Ross, you are seriously misinformed. The majority of Bermuda's problems have been created by greedy, self-serving, thoughtless, neophites in the PLP/EBP. Particularly the Brownites... who STILL pull the strings inside the Party. Nothing has changed. And we need a BIG change. Soon coming.

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          • ross says:

            Dim Star - As usual, you tell half the story. Can't disagree with your slant on Brown but let's not leave out the part others (from that other party ) have played in this mess...

            Now seriously, let me get back to work. Bermuda needs us to be produtive !!!

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        • 32n64w says:

          How has the presence of IB forsaken the tourism sector?

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      • James says:

        Since you work "in the industry" can you tell me which policies your industry execs don't like? What would they want? What would be "business friendly" for them?

        Thanks.

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        • sandgrownan says:

          Actually, they'd like the PLP to shut the f*ck up more than anything.

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          • James says:

            You're proving to be a real joker (replaced word), you know that?!

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        • Bermyman says:

          Why should I tell you anything? Are you proposing that you come into my office for a sit down to discuss what they need and want? What purpose would that solve unless you are a member of the present government or the opposition?

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          • James says:

            Well Bermyman, no I'm not a politician but I did like your input. Just a regular old hard working Bermudian who yearns to understand what I presently do not. "Why should I tell you anything", well what would it hurt?! Its not a secret I would guess. Besides, if I knew more from someone in the "industry" perhaps I too could beat the drum for a happy medium of what IB needs and protection of Bermuda. Just looking for knowledge my friend.

            Soon enough there will be politicians knocking at my door for my vote, it might be nice to ask them about some of the concerns I'm asking you (an industry insider) about here. Its not rocket science.

            Hell, if you/they would be comfortable I would certainly sit in your offices and listen. But again I wield no power or influence, just an ordinary guy. Perhaps you think I'm too simple to have anything explained to me.

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            • Bermyman says:

              No not at all I don't think that you are too simple to have anything explained, I think you are much more intelligent than you are letting on. But to be honest I thought that you may be a politician by the way that you have been blogging on this current thread, those were baited questions on my behalf. I will not speak for others that I work with as I feel it is up to them to voice an opinion, but in conversations over the years there has been some concern over work permit term limits and the instability it brings to the intellectual capital from overseas. I work with several people who I feel are critical for my present company to compete at an international level, without guaranteed longevity, they simply view Bermuda as a quick stint to make $$$ and then head home, we want to encourage more long term intellectual, financial and emotional investment in our Island from these guys! . If it was up to me I would allow them to buy property on this Island and live here for their entire 'Working lives'. Get rid of Alien Licenses so that if they have Bermudian spouses their incomes are invested in our economy, where it be in property or businesses, either way the more they put in the better it is for us. No they are not displacing Bermudians they are bettering our country through their involvement. But! That said we do need to encourage and make sure we protect Bermudian employment in these industries. At the same time as Ross so rightfully points out we need to build a more stable economy by developing our tourism product. This will help provide jobs for Bermudians across the board. But we can talk about this all day, what really matters is that the next political party has the right ideas surrounding this, allot of damage was done by Ewart Brown and we live in that legacy, whether it the perceived notion by expat workers that the PLP is anti-them! Or the financial mess that lurks in the background. We need a strong government that is not afraid to push for change. Nothing that the present government has done in the past year tells me they are equipped to do so.

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              • James says:

                Bermyman, no I'm not a politician. I'm too smart and way too outspoken for that to be true. I knew you thought I was though.

                Thanks for the insight and I agree with you, mostly. However, I cannot get my head wrapped around letting someone live here their entire "working lives". To me that seems like we would be creating a problem for ourselves down the road. No, I don't know what that problem could be but having absolutely no controls seems a bit reckless. But I will concede that a 10 year work permit term limit is too restrictive for business, in general. And no I do not know of a workable term limit. I'm sure you all in IB could come up with a fair number.

                I can't agree at all with letting foreign workers buy property in Bermuda, outside of some of the current controls. Quite frankly, that scares me a little bit. What is scary is that if that were made policy I'm thinking that my daughter or grand-daughter might have a tough time finding a home in her island home.

                The rest of what you said is fine. I was a Ewart Brown fan, I still am to an extent. I just wish he would have had better foresight and made some better decisions. But all in all he WAS a leader! I have a few bones to pick with our current government but at the same time I'm not really hearing anything new from the potential opposition, nothing new at all. The next election will be interesting for me, for just that reason.

                My vote will hinge on Tourism I suppose, something I DO KNOW about and hold dear to my heart. Something that, for the life of me, I wonder why no one has been able to figure out. It certainly isn't rocket science for sure.

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  2. Terry says:

    Bob is right.

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  3. Pastor Syl says:

    The Premier talks of the "nimbleness" of our policy, but nothing about changing it. What is the problem??? Something is wrong somewhere and I can't figure out why we are shooting ourselves in the foot, in the butt, maybe in the head, too. Who is benefitting? And can't they see that we all sink or swim together - or maybe they figure they can abscond to brighter horizons once everything is completely screwed, leaving the dregs behind.

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  4. Chart says:

    Paula is not being honest. She points out the high cost of Cayman work permits. But they do not have payroll tax in Cayman ... and we do. Our annual "tax rate" on execs is far higher.

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  5. Betty Rech says:

    Rabbitt Hutches situated on the rocky sandy bank with unobstructed views overlooking the South Shore equipped with erosion in years to come and faced with destructive appearances of Winter Storms, Tornados and Hurricanes.

    If you would like to invest in one of these Hutches call your Builder Mr. Gilbert Lopes

    BIR

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  6. Terry says:

    Pastor, you hit the nail on it's smaller head.

    One only has to look around the island and observe those large family estates from all backgrounds. You think they have their monies in BNTB or whatever that bank is called that Brown owns. It's all gone. Invested in US dollars along with their properties overseas.

    Home Office is just laughing. What can they do. We have been screwed Beyonce anything.

    Gombeys. At least we know whom they are whilst they dress and undress. Gombey House circus of deception.

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  7. navin Johnson says:

    This Government is incapable of admitting mistakes and taking steps to remedy...they raise the payroll tax in 2010 which was the exact wrong thing to do and that sped up the IB exodus of highly compensated people to other locales...rather than admitting a mistake they roll it back this year but Madame Premier says "we have not ruled out raising it again" WRONG!!! so the exodus continued due to the uncertainty that created.....the 10 year permit issue came out and Burch ,when still in power mentioned that it would not occur on his watch or over my dead body or some other buzz kill comment and the exodus continued...we are nimble yada yada....just say it was a mistake and we will make amends instead she mentions nimblesness while being mindfull of Bermudians......every exempt company wants qualified Bermudians so you dont have to be mindfull what she means is mindfull to the hard core who want to hear the work permit time limit mantra...political fence sitting at its finest....dont lose the votes just lose the people who fund the economy.....too late....

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  8. specialgirl4 says:

    Stop the “scaremongering”…., ‘Term limits’ is not the main reason for IB to move out of Bermuda, as Mr. Byne (Flagstone Re) indicated that “The only reason to move away would be if there was a tax treaty you could avail yourself of, if your holding company was in Europe rather than in Bermuda.” This is something that must be considered, as any country could decide to offer a tax treaty to boost their economy. Bermuda will have to consider what other form of income can be develop to build the economy on. This is especially important as Bermuda is too dependent on one sector of the economy to control our destiny. It will take some creative and hard thinking, but Bermuda must begin to seek out additional ways to gain revenue in the future.

    Government recent review of ‘Term Limits’……“This policy will make it somewhat easier to encourage talent to remain in Bermuda and attract and retain the expertise necessary to maintain and grow our sector.” – Mr. Hutchings. This suggests that government has been flexible and willing to make changes; this change of policy has assisted the IB to function somewhat more effortlessly and without difficulty.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      God, you're stupid.

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    • Family Man says:

      Flagstone has a huge back-office operation in Halifax where they now hire all their accountants and administrators. No work permit issues. No term limits. They figured its cheaper and less hassle to pay Canadian taxes than it is to deal with the Pee el Pee here.

      How many Bermudians have Flagstone hired here in the last year?

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      • Ross says:

        My point exactly..Tried and tested. Use until try use you up!

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        • 32n64w says:

          Um no ... quite the opposite actually.

          The PLP carelessly and without proper oversight/transparency aggressively spent the tax dollars contributed by IB (on no-bid/insider contracts/consultants/etc) and in return thumbed their nose at the sector by irrationally moving the policy goal posts (purely for political reasons) thereby making it increasingly more difficult to ensure continuity of their business operations.

          As a result Flagstone, et al, simply said enough is enough and relocated the jobs elsewhere to the detriment of us all.

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    • YES MATE! says:

      Someone's been drinking from the fountain of stupid again. Just because we are too dependent on IB we should wreck it? For once, you're right Specialgirl, we do have to find and develop new revenue streams, but in the meantime we have to preserve and develop current revenue streams, which your beloved Pee El Pee are failing miserably at. Why hasn't your precious PLoP identified and initiated new revenue streams? I'll tell you why! They don't have a clue about what they're doing! To say that they're asleep at the wheel assumes that there is someone at the wheel when clearly they have vacated the driver's seat in favour of developing their own personal revenue streams at our expense! The average PLP supporter on this forum either has his head in the sand, up his a$$ or so far up The Cog's a$$ they can taste the grease. If I were cog I would politely request that you stop your public support of the Pee el Pee because you make the party sound dumb with your poor spelling and grammar and spurious statements. Take your nose out of Paula's crack and read some books.

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  9. navin Johnson says:

    oh special girl....you do not get it....Mr. Bryne is a perfect example....why did he leave the Board of Education after a few months.....dealing with Beaurocrats....he cashed out of Flagstone just in time too and moved the company to Luxembourg so you may want to rethink using him as an example....Mr. Hutchings is Bermudian so he can say whatever he wants without concern for consequences....its not the George Hutchings of the world its the others who have left in droves and there is no scaremongering about it. The policy of term limits and the rhetoric surrounding it has had a horrible effect on business in Bermuda....and its not only about gaining revenue dear special girl there is the other side of the coin and that would be the expense....bloated civil service to gain voters is Bermudas biggest expense and drain and they will never leave because they have no where to go...those who can leave do....those who cant leave become civil servants...no expense special girl as I am guessing you are one...effortlessly and without difficulty? like TCD its better than it was before....other form of revenue? ask the churches and see what they will allow you to do....tourism is in an irreversible coma unless casinos are allowed to stimulate outside capital...and dont mention Bazarian for that one is not going to happen.....an sandgrownan? you are spot on.....but I do love to read special girls spin....

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  10. confused says:

    as an expat, i thought the point of term limits was to help encourage the ascension of bermudians into the uppper level positions of companies. is this not the reason behind it? What happens if term limits are removed? would there be an influx of expats intending to permanently set up shop on the island? Are they then allowed to buy property? If ordianry bermudians can't afford housing now, will that benefit them? I heard this somewhere, might not be accurate, but didn't the Cayamans become too expensive to locals when their international business(IB) opertaion started growing and force many to leave?

    Of course the island's tourism product is now too expensive to sustain the island as in generations past..when did this happen by the way? shortly after IB arrived?..so the island is basically dependent on IB. tough situation, I'm only here for another 3 years, hope your givernment has a plan.

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    • navin Johnson says:

      In many cases what the term limit does is create uncertainty as to a persons future and is not necessarily to have Bermudians ascend into upper levels although some have and the overwhelming % or IB staff are Bermudian like 80+%. Removing them does nothing more than take the uncertainty out as presently they either renew the permit or bring someone else in. Companies would normally love to have Bermudians due to cost, permits , etc.. If Bermuda is totally dependant on IB(and it is) why have a policy in place that is counterproductive.....you can stay as long as you want but you cant own a home so the Bermudian benefits with rental income. The decline in IB staff brought on by the attitude of Ewart Brown and David Burch has caused all business on the island to suffer with no improvement in sight....this government has no plan...

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    • blankman says:

      Term limits were not introduced to protect jobs for Bermudians - they were introduced for the simple reason that Bermudians (or at least the PLP) were afraid they'd end up with another batch of long term residents and if the Island became independent they might be forced to grant citizenship to someone that not only doesn't look like them but wouldn't vote for them.

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      • Terry says:

        Oh go back to BIAW...please................Really....do it...................prolific.

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        • Say Say Say says:

          Terry, I love your twisted comic look at the world - but blankman is correct. Check your facts.

          Om jess sayin.

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      • blankman says:

        Terry, hate to hurt your feelings but Burch made it very clear that term limits had nothing to do with protecting jobs for Bermudians but were rather concerned with potential long term residents.

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    • specialgirl4 says:

      Yes, IB has stated how no term policy would benefit them, but failed to outline how it would benefit Bermudians. How many Bermudians are in top positions in IB???

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      • Sandgrownan says:

        Still stupid i see. If you lack the mental capcity to think it through, you need to go back to bed.

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      • star man says:

        Specialgirl, you obviously do not understand basic economics. IMO this makes you look somewhat foolish. Just sayin'

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  11. boston baked bean says:

    sandgrownan, you've won the "best of" award again today. :)

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  12. Terry says:

    Specialgirl4.....

    Never mind.

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  13. Hmmmmm says:

    Never one to let the facts get in the way of his fiction, here's the truth from Cayman's news reporting on this. As you will see, its far from a done deal:

    Political opposition is growing to proposals by Premier McKeeva Bush to suspend Cayman’s much-maligned Rollover Policy, despite pleas to allow a review body time to weigh changes to immigration laws.
    Leader of the Opposition People’s Progressive Movement Alden McLaughlin and North Side independent Ezzard Miller challenged the Bush proposals, announced in Parliament on Wednesday, the former fearing endemic confusion and the latter worrying Caymanians could “lose political control of their country”.
    Mr Bush hit back yesterday, however, saying a committee, comprising the Chamber of Commerce, Cayman Finance, the Immigration Review Team and “other” small-business representatives, would sort through the issues within six months, with an eye to new legislation within two years.
    Mr Bush on Wednesday proposed suspending for up to two years the seven-year residency limit on Cayman’s almost 20,000 work-permit holders, while the as-yet-unnamed committee explores policy and legislative changes.
    Mr McLaughlin was unsure Cabinet had power to suspend a formal law, but worried that too many questions remained unanswered.
    “The rollover is linked to permanent residency and then grant of [Caymanian] status,” he said. “Everything turns on the length of time you are allowed to be here.”
    A work-permit holder can circumvent the seven-year limit by gaining “key employee” status, allowing further residency. After eight years, a holder may seek “permanent residence”, and, ultimately, Caymanian status and even naturalisation, conferring voting rights.
    “What’s going to happen in that two-year period of suspension?” Mr McLaughlin asked. “Does that count towards permanent residency? What happens to key employee status?
    “What we ought to do is just take three months and redraft the provisions in the law. I don’t understand the extension period,” he said. “Let’s just get it changed. Businesses want certainty, and I truly worry that what should be positive, may deteriorate into confusion and uncertainty.”
    Mr Miller was adamant: “I won’t support a two-year moratorium. I would guess there are between 6,000 and 8,000 people, all of whom could get permanent residency, and once you get permanent residency, we are almost obliged to give you status. Two years after that you get naturalised. It’s almost impossible to prevent.
    “This is going to enable 6,000 people to keep jobs and Caymanians won’t get them. Caymanians have lost economic control of the country, and now we will lose political control,” he said.
    Mr Bush rejected the criticism, admonishing both MLAs to “stop playing politics. I am doing what’s good for the country. Ezzard needs to stop trying to frighten the country and stop trying to get into the Cabinet.
    “Alden changed the immigration laws twice and he is finding that I am finding a solution, and he wants to be part of it. He needs to give the committee time to do its work,” Mr Bush said.
    Meeting on Tuesday, Cabinet will explore suspension of the Rollover Policy “and the section of the law” that enabled it, he said. Within 180 days, six months, the committee would offer drafting instructions to change the law, which “may not need two years, but we will have 180 days to see.
    “We will never lose political control,” Mr Bush said, dismissing Mr Miller’s fears. “This is not a status grant. Cayman has lost businesses and this is a bad time to throw people out of the country. It would destroy the country and even more Caymanians would be unemployed. We need people for business in these serious economic times,” he said.

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    • sandgrownan says:

      Ah, you see that's the boogey-man that Burch (and others) used to throw around, "...we'll have loads of foreigners..becoming Bermudian...taking over our birth right..." You can almost sense the bile.

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      • Hmmmmm says:

        All I'm saying is that Mr. Richards mustn't present it as a fait accompli in Cayman when its not. Just say he agrees with Bush and wishes Cox to do the same. Cayman may still not do this depending on how the politics turns out.

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    • specialgirl4 says:

      Thanks for such correct reporting Hmmmmmmmmm, well put, and provides even more reasons why we should not let the flood gates open, without restrictions. It also supports my points.

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      • Sandgrownan says:

        Flood gates? What flood gates? Do you really think people are "banging on the door to get in"?

        psst...I know how to solve the deficit. Easily.

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      • Fed Up Bermudian says:

        Usually I wouldn't disagree with you so vigourously, Special, but here's the thing- do you really think there is a flood at the gates in the first place? When expats are not treated with the respect we'd want from them, when flyers are distributed on their cars saying 'Expat, go home', when they are threatened when they stand in line at Ice Queen, when they are treated as interlopers rather than guests, when they are the subject of much animosity- who the heck do you think will actually WANT to come?? It's not the executive levels you need to fear, dearie. It's the ones who come to take the low-skill jobs that we're all too good for, because they're the only ones beating at our doors. Heaven forbid you're a WHITE foreigner, because that puts you in an immediately inferior position. So, still convinced that the floodgates are open??? There is nothing here to attract them, nothing. Move to a place where you'd be greeted through gritted teeth, not allowed to own property, told 'thanks for the offer, we do need help, but not from you'- what's not to love? Who wouldn't want a life in a place like that...

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  14. PEPPER says:

    So on another topic...is the likes of three members of the P.L.P. going to try to oust the current leader ?

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  15. leavingbermuda says:

    A) Isn't it funny how you get more for your money now when it comes to renting apartments. Hmmmm, I wonder why?
    B) Isn't it funny that 3 times the amount mopeds are for sale today then 4 years ago?
    C) Isn't it funny that the container ship lines are losing money at a troubling rate?

    So ask yourself - "What could be the cause of all above"

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    • Ross says:

      The place is being right sized and case you haven't noticed, that appears to be the norm world wide...Bermuda is no exception and we will have to live with less. We have before..

      Now say goodbye nicely ...

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      • leavingbermuda says:

        Yes it may be the norm world wide, but unique economies such as Bermuda could only flurish when the "global" economy would allow it. Places such as Bermuda will slowly lose a fight in the shrinking "global" economy.
        Facts are facts - ask someone who's trying to sell a house in the BDA market.

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        • Ross says:

          Or the US or the UK or Spain or Greece or or ...

          We don't need you to worry for us or comment on what really isn't your concern,,

          Get cracking!

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          • leavingbermuda says:

            Please read below.

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          • leavingbermuda says:

            "we don’t need you to worry for us or comment on what really isn’t your concern" - shall I say the same thing to the next person I see wearing an Obama shirt in town?
            READ BELOW

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            • Ross says:

              leaving Bda- Yes you should, because that's your president. You do call him president Obama , right?

              Say hello to the those Tea Baggers when you get settled...

              Adios.

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          • James says:

            Nice answer for just such an attitude. If you're leaving/running, then just leave quietly.

            Funny thing is, that when and if everything turns around there just may be some other running for those like him, but in the opposite direction. Perhaps I can be a race marshall in the future?!

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          • Truth (Original) says:

            @Ross- You're a sad, bitter person. Why are you so angry at legitimate questions? Our woes cannot all be explained away in the "global recession". Neither should you attack the person asking the questions. What you do not realize is that for every senior exec that we lose a few Bermudian jobs go with them. Some people are "job creators". "Get cracking" to expats sometimes means unemployed Bermudains.

            You should check your attitude.

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    • Grubster says:

      Agree. We need the expats. Who are paying the rents, buying cars, sending their children to private school, eating out because they have family and friends visiting, spending in supermarkets, shop and paying duty. Let's not forget that to send an expat family away from Bermuda we lose $20,00 a year in the supermarket, plus household expenses, clothes, utility bills, insurance, transport etc; all that money entering the Bermudan economy. Should be encouraging expats here to work, live and spend.

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      • Ross says:

        Nothing wrong with rents being reduced and or Bermudians buying what they can afford. Nothing wrong with private schools competing for clients and having to reduce the associated cost. Nothing wrong with the reduction of restaurants that for the most part have foreign staff..nothing wrong with less cars on the island...

        Bermudians have to make a number of tough choices that will create pain and a change in our lofty and unrealistic standard of living...this is the same in most countries..we are not special and being humbled could be the best thing that has happened to this country in decades...We have lost our way, become super dependent on companies that have no loyalty to their countries of origin and yet some are surprised when they depart...

        Wow!

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        • sandgrownan says:

          The economy was overheated by idiot PLP policy of spending what we didn't have on capital projects.

          Right now, as a direct result, many struggling Bermudians are in negative equity situations. But hey, best thing that ever happened. Moron.

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          • ross says:

            Take the sand out of your idiotic head and the grow the h_ll up. The world economy is crumbling and we are a part of it. The PLP have not been great stewards of our money, however, their ineptness is not the sole reason for this masive problem that we face.

            The problems in Bermuda didn't start with the PLP and yes they have moved them right along, however being so extremely dependent on one sector is not smart econmics and the PLP didnt create that model.

            I am not wed to the PLP nor am I blinded by the revisionist historians that want, well, to change with words, what actually has happened to this country. This problem is not 13 years in the making...

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            • Sandgrownan says:

              Don't disagree, but their idiotic ineptness and breathtaking incompetance managed to kill the goose at the same time. Twats.

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          • James says:

            The economy was overheated way before that joker! They (PLP) failed to recognize and deal with it properly. Get it right mate, jeesh!!

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        • Got to go says:

          Rents are being reduced... so are wages, hours & salaries, so lower rents aren't helping the renter that much.

          Maybe we are in need of some humbling, but you are talking about peoples' lives, their hard work, people losing their homes, high unemployment, and those who are fortunate to have employment having to work outrages hours just to get by. How can that be "the best thing to happen to this country in decades"?

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          • ross says:

            Best thing often come from from tough experiences. just sayin..

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  16. Rick Rock says:

    Will the Uighers have 6 year limits, or are gardeners a protected class now?

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    • leavingbermuda says:

      I don't think you have much to worry about. If the economy keeps going in the direction it's going, those "gardeners" and "nannies" will desert the ship quicker than you can say BINGO. No work = No Workers

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      • Ross says:

        Seems to me that you should save your concern for the 40 million unemployed in the US and growing numbers in the UK..Oh, wait, you are not concerned about us, simply gloating. Tacky and sad!

        Oh, by the way, how is your Chinese?

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        • leavingbermuda says:

          did it ever cross your simplistic mind that I may be Bermudian?

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          • ross says:

            Actually, not in the least, however having re-read your posts, yes it does. You are that Bermudian..

            Now get back to work... We need all hands on deck...

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  17. Say Say Say says:

    Perhaps it is time for the PLP not to base all their election build up on race. I mean, instead of moaning about how nasty 'Whitey' is perhaps you should actually DO SOMETHING. OMG.

    Stay tuned. It'll be a loong program. PLP only has one channel - and thats the one that moans about white people. Once the moaning about whites has no further affect - the PLP are dead. They will have nothing.

    Om Jess sayin!!!!!!

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  18. soon leavin' says:

    Someone mentioned Flagstone moving major departments to Canada and other countries.Here's food for thought...at least 150 IT jobs have quietly moved to Canada and the US east coast in the past 12 months.
    XL,RenRe,MontpelierRe,
    IronstoneRe,Axis,MS Frontier to name a few.
    That's just the begining.The shell companies will be here but no people.A head hunter told me jobs are now difficult to fill in Bermuda with one applicant requesting a security guard for his home.

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    • Ross says:

      Wow..You don't like being here yet you can't leave politely..I sense a little resentment/ anger when you should be simply packing your bags and looking forward to your return to Utopia..

      Not sure who that recruiter is cause I can safely say that I get calls regularly from many interested and qualified professionals ..

      Do you require a taxi to the airport?

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      • I get those same calls says:

        But they're from people whose jobs are being shipped off the island and who don't want to leave.

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        • Ross says:

          They still call which suggest that they still retain an interest.. Slow your roll ..one issue at a time,,

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      • navin johnson says:

        not difficult to get a taxi to the airport either...oh and add ACE to the above list of companies who have moved people overseas..and don't forget Alterra and Allied World.. And you find it difficult to believe that someone with a family and a great deal of money would request a security guard as part of their package? you do live here Ross correct? It's not only gang members killing each other now they are killing retirees...face it we no longer live in Utopia or Nirvana..although we do have a little bit of Detroit...

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        • ross says:

          Navin - Wow!!! Can you read? Who questioned the security guard comment???? And do you really believe that the 53 year old guy is a gang banger? Possibly a murderer, but a gang banger. Wow!!! Stop it!!

          As for ACE and the others.. again they have no loyalty to the US, sooo, again, why are we so incredibly shocked that they have opted out for greener pastures?????????

          I have never believed that Bermuda is Utopia. How could it be with morons like you living here..

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          • navin Johnson says:

            Ross you may want to go back and question your reading skills and perhaps consider valium. You seem to attack everyone's comment such as Soon leavin who merely mentioned that IT is moving and listed a few companies as referencing someone interested in a security guard and your response was pack your bags and go to Utopia. You also claim to get calls all the time from interested Professionals? your knickers are also in a twist over my association with an innocent victim of a murder and me tying it to a gang banger...the fact that it was not a gang banger make it any more or less significant? Ace opting for greener pastures? I think the point is less green pastures as in less $$$$.

            Seems to me you are just another PLP apologist /toadie/lackey who sees the world around you falling apart and have no place to go you do write a little better than most though...maybe you are specialgirls alter ego...

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            • ross says:

              LOL...Navin, go easy on the cocktails babe..Heck, it isn't lunch time yet!!!

              Again, you are going to have to do something about that vision problem... The PLP have actually been on the wrong end of most of my blogs. Which I suspect disqualifies the lackey, apologist theory. Not sure what a toadie is so can't really comment on that.

              Questioning how we got into this mess without including the UBP's involvement is not the 12 step plan that we require..

              Can I get an Amen!!

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              • navin Johnson says:

                no amen and no soup for you....not sure what a toady is? toadies by other names are bootlickers,brownnosers,flunkies,sycophants,lickspittles...So I guess that because the UBP did things so well like full employment and a chicken in every pot and no deficit and it would be unreasonable to expect the unqualified, incompetent money grubbing leeches currently in power to sustain their successful record? is that why you would include them in your 12 step plan....I knew it the reason Bermuda is in deep doo-doo is because of the UBP and Front Street and The Forty Thieves...the missing piece to the puzzle...Step 1 of the 12 step plan?....vote them out...everything else falls into place after that but never like it was.....they killed the golden goose but stole the eggs....

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  19. leavingbermuda says:

    Speaking of Uighers...can anyone explain to me why a citizen of Bermuda would walk around town with an Obama shirt or drive a car with an Obama bumper sticker? I think it goes to show how ignorant some are to what's happening out in the "world".
    In case your not clear on what I'm talking about: Obama had a campain commercial where he said that he's going to "shut down tax havens like Bermuda". Bermuda was then listed on the "list", but Obama also made another promise - "shut down Guantanamo bay". How did both problems get fixed? Uighers are sent to Bermuda and Bermuda comes of the "list". For all you people who complain(or shall I say it in past tense "used to complain") those Uighers saved your countries ecomony for a short period of time.

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  20. Say Say Say says:

    Leavingbermuda. You believe in fairytales too? Your claim that the Gitmo terrorists saved us (even for a short time) is laughable. Perhaps you are into comedy too!

    Someone got paid a s#@t load of money for this. No names but we all know who it was.

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    • leavingbermuda says:

      and you must be ignorant to facts because what I stated above is FACT - do us a favor next time you spill something out of your mouth and RESEARCH the topic before commenting on it.

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      • Say Say Say says:

        Believe what you want. I know he got paid -- you do too. He left us with a permanent problem.

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  21. Chart says:

    10 year work permit and taxes for exec earning $250k in Bermuda = $370,000. In Cayman = $250,000.

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  22. RobbieM says:

    It is interesting that these Caymanian Parliamentarians are in session at the moment, while our local MP's are on their three month break from work!!! How much do we pay these part-timer MPs and Senators??? Too much I think.

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  23. Terry says:

    This may just turn out to be another 1977.

    Um outta hair........................................

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  24. Really? says:

    This comes down to race again realistically althought they will not admit it, the majority or migrant population is white. And the term limits is one more way for the black government to have control over some white people of the world. I know people who have lived here for 8 years from england, Kids have grown up here made friends here gone to school here, there youngest was in middle of GCSE's and the government booted them off, just plain inconsiderate and honestly as a bermudian im deisgusted to sit around and watch people be abused like this? these are good law abiding citizens who give alot to the community unlike i can say for most Bermudians whatver that word truely means. Because at the end of the day didnt we all come here one way or another? unless ofcourse Cahows have learnt to read Bernews.
    People like to quote sayings on here short and sweet "Bermuda is shooting itself in the Foot"

    GET RID OF TERM LIMITS!!!!!!!!

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  25. Terry says:

    Really, the Cahow was thought extinct. It came back and caused no alrm as they hid in the rocks and produced.

    As for shooting itself in the foot.........One has been amputated, the other is a stump and it's too late.

    Certains killed the goose and now live high off of US dollars.

    Steamed Uighers..........................

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  26. Yeah but wait... says:

    Makes me smile really all the hoopla about foreigners getting out of Bermuda when we have an educational system that is insuring we will NEED foreigners in the future. Think its a joke. Take a look at every annual graduation how many of those that entered high school are actually graduating and going to college. It's sickenening. And often the same ones screaming for foreigners to leave are the same ones sending their kids to Disneyworld every year instead of investing in a tutor so their son/daughter won't get left behind and discouraged to enjoy learning. Why bi%&ch about foreign workers when we do little to stop potential local workers from ending up on a wall!

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  27. Say Say Say says:

    PLP should not be allowed to run a bath - let alone a country. They are pathetic beyond words. They are ruining Bermuda and soon we will have 3rd world status - unless we vote them out.

    A vote for PLP is a vote into financial slavery.

    Remember this on election day.

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