Miller will lift expat tax
(CNS): The independent member for North Side has confirmed that if he is part of any new government formed in the wake of the 2013 election he will ensure that direct taxation will be scrapped if the premier actually implements the controversial expat tax. Speaking to CNS as confusion mounted over the premier’s position on the proposed 10% payroll fee on work permit holders’ earnings, Miller said that while he may not be guaranteed any position in any new administration, if he was given a chance to serve in the next Cabinet it would be a priority to overturn the contentious tax. Commending the private sector group for its intervention this weekend, he raised concerns about the continuing uncertainty.
“Despite the efforts of the private sector group over the weekend, we note today that there is still a lack of clarity and no small amount of confusion coming from a subsequent statement from the premier,” he said in a statement Monday. “This is disappointing but hardly surprising. Sadly, it is in keeping with the frightening level of incompetence with which the premier has discharged his responsibilities as the minister of finance."
The North Side MLA, who has said he intends to retain his political independence when he stands in his constituency in May 2013, has said he will be running with any “coalition of the willing” that will work towards the removal of McKeeva Bush from office and then form a government to begin to repair the extensive damage and irregularities associated with this current administration.
He also committed to overturning any direct taxation imposed by the premier, which he hoped would reassure the business community that, even if the premier cannot be persuaded in the next few days to take a different course, the tax will be short lived.
In the meantime, however, the outspoken MLA once again called for the premier to relinquish the position of finance minister at the very least, even if he is not prepared to resign as premier.
Miller said Bush’s actions this week had shaken the financial industry to its very core, damaged Cayman's international reputation and created further instability and division in the community.
“Bush should be asked to step down as finance minister. I call upon all right-thinking members of the business community, Caymanians from all cross-sections of society and those of us in political leadership to demand of Mr Bush that he removes himself from the Finance Ministry, to prevent further damage to the Cayman Islands,” he added.
“For the minister of finance to be allowed to make such an unnecessary and reckless departure from our traditional revenue sources to a form of income-determined tax is in my view grossly detrimental to this country and he should be required to re-assign the Finance Ministry,” Miller said, calling for the financial secretary to resign as well for allowing such a shift in policy. The MLA pointed out that with no definitive statement from him saying that he did not support this income-based fee, it had to be assumed he agreed with it.
The MLA further stated that, along with the UDP's incompetence in managing the country's affairs and the continued wasteful spending, the premier could still find the time and money to travel to Jamaica this past weekend.
“While I congratulate Jamaica on its 50 years of independence, I find it difficult to accept that our premier had to be there at such a crucial time in our budget preparation,” he said. “Similarly, the minister of sports can find the time and money to take a big entourage to London to attend the Olympics, while his government has plunged the country into uncertainty and anxiety. This incompetent UDP government needs to get serious and produce a credible budget, instead of making ill-conceived policy announcements to stir up controversy while they jet around the globe as distractions from the real issues,” Miller said in an official statement.
See full statement below.
|Ezzard Miller statement regarding developments on Community Enhancement Fee.doc||26.5 KB|
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