(CMR) In a speech just made in the Legislative Assembly session being held in Cayman Brac Premier Alden McLaughlin just made several major announcements including the increase of customs duty allowance for local residents from CI$350 to CI$500. The allowance will be implemented for 1 November 2018.
The duty allowance was reviewed previously but remained the same despite public pressure to have it changed. In fact, BTW MLA, Chris Saunders, reminded the public that the proposal to increase it was brought 3 times before the legislative assembly and denied all 3 times.
He stated on a Facebook post:
“I am happy to see that common sense has finally prevailed and that our perseverance has paid off. Now time to get the government to support our call for the people to make the decision on the port.”
However, due to the persistence of Opposition and others the increase has been approved. Other members of the opposition were likewise quick to cry foul and political games since this same government under the previous minister Archer denied the request to increase it.
He also announced Cabinet's approval of an award of 5% Cost of Living Adjustment (COLA) for the civil service which will commence in this month's payroll to be applied retroactively to 1st July 2018.
Additionally, the government has comitted to a sustainable way forward by announcing it will consider a further COLA increase in 2010 to keep in line with the Consumer Price Index.