North Side MLA Ezzard Miller has set his sights on government duty waivers and he’s dusting of an old motion pushing for increases in duty-free allowances for Caymanians.
He’s taking a two-pronged approach in his private members’ motions tackling customs related issues and with elections round the corner he’s hoping this time around will be the charm.
The Independent MLA is going after duty waivers granted to developers. He says he wants local vendors to benefit from the waivers as well.
“When they grant the concessions in order to reach the duty waiver the person has to purchase it from a local vendor because then the money circulates within our economy,” Mr Miller says. That’s what he’s proposing. Right now developers can get materials from wherever they want.
“All of that money bypasses the local economy in its entirety,” he contends.
But he’s hoping his motion, if passed, will keep the money here. The idea is to encourage developers to order materials through Cayman suppliers. If they do, then they’ll receive duty concessions.
“And if it’s a special shipment that the vendor is bringing for that developer it would go straight through and there will be no duty because the local vendor would present that authorisation at Customs,” he says.
He’s also seeking to increase duty-free allowances for Caymanians. And if it seems like deja vu it is, since it’s not the first time this is hitting the LA floor. But Mr Miller says timing is everything and he’s hoping this time around he’s going to be a lot more successful.
“The Government is going to be hard pressed with an election in may to tell the Caymanian voters that they refused to double the allowance they can bring back when the travel once or twice a year,” he says.
These motions will head to the next sitting of the LA, but they need Government support to make it happen.