The Chamber of Commerceâ€™s response to Premier Hon. McKeevaâ€™s message to the liquor licence holders that he was going to increase their government fees for doing business in the Cayman Islands met with a typical response.
“While it is acknowledged that these fees have not been increased for several years,â€ť the Chamber said in a prepared statement, â€śmany other fees have been increased significantly over the past five years. The results of the Chamberâ€™s recent State of Business and Small Business surveys confirm that the cost of doing business is the single greatest challenge facing Cayman business today.â€ť
Currently, liquor licences range from $1,000-$4,800 annually, depending on the nature and size of the business.
I am not convinced it is going to bring in enough revenue unless he makes it in the region of $10,000 – $15,000 and there would be an eruption if that happened.
To put it on duty is going to hurt the tourist industry or will it? I have not heard of tourists say they are not coming to the Cayman Islands because of the high cost of alcoholic beverages. I have heard their grumbles but does that really stop them coming?
However, putting it on the licence fee will have to be passed on. And that will be passed on to every product that is sold in the liquor store and every drinking establishment and restaurant.
It is a fact that many establishments will find it as a good excuse to raise all their prices and make a profit on it. They can blame the government and it will be believed. We all love to blame government even when it rains or the sun shines too much!
One area of exploration that was discussed by a few business colleagues that I donâ€™t believe the premier has thought of is to tax the churches. What an idea? Instead if a tithe of 10% of your earnings going into the collection place your favourite church will be asking you to make it 12% or more to pay for this tax fee.
It has been done before. King John (of Magna Carta) did this and made a huge amount of money for Englandâ€™s coffers that were empty after his brother (Richard the Lionheart) had bankrupted the country through financing his Crusades.
It was not popular with the churches and they wrote pretty awful things about John that are still used today to paint the poor King John in such a bad light.
There would be no worry for premier Bush as we can all read and write and a lot of bloggers arenâ€™t exactly raving fans of him.
So tax the churches might be his saviourâ€¦â€¦..
Now Iâ€™m going to be excommunicated by mine.
(It was only a joke I cry as they nail me to a piece of wood.)
So where is a good place to earn additional revenues?
The obvious is REDUCE EXPENDITURE! Civil service! And that would NOT be popular. However, â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦..