The results of the latest caycompass.com online poll show that almost two-thirds of Cayman residents here before and after Hurricane Ivan are worse off now economically than before the storm.
Although 173 of the 291 respondents (59.5 per cent) said they were worse off now than Ivan, 22 people (7.6 per cent) said they were not here before Ivan so they could not compare. Adjusting for those who weren’t here prior to Ivan, 64.3 per cent of people who were here before and after the storm say they are worse off now than before.
By comparison, only 38 people (13.1 per cent, or 14.12 per cent adjusting for those who were not here before the storm) said they are better off now than pre-Hurricane Ivan.
Another 50 respondents (17.2 per cent or 18.5 per cent adjusted) said their economic standing was the same now as it was before Hurricane Ivan.
Eight respondents (2.7 per cent or 2.9 per cent adjusted) said they were not sure how they stood economically in comparison between pre-Ivan and post-Ivan.
Higher costs of living since Ivan appear to play a big role in the downturn of economic standing with people.
‘I earn about the same money now, but the cost of living has risen so much, my lifestyle and savings have both dropped,’ commented one respondent. ‘Plus I lost a lot in the hurricane.’
‘I make the same amount of money and it costs way more to live here!’ echoed another respondent.
‘Lost everything, marriage included, prices went up, salary stayed the same,’ said yet another person.
The higher cost of rent was particularly cited by one respondent.
The cost of replacing things lost in Ivan has also contributed to people’s economic standing now.
‘My family and I lost almost everything in Ivan, and we found it difficult to replace these items,’ said one respondent. ‘My wife got laid off and my work hours have been reduced. To make matters worse, I have not received a salary increase since and everything has increased in price.’
The situation has led to despair for some people.
‘I feel like I’m lost at sea without even as much as a boat and my only survival option is to tread water or drown,’ said one respondent.
‘Cayman needs to return to the way it was before Ivan,’ said another person. ‘It is becoming impossible to live here anymore and this is coming from a young hard-working Caymanian with one child.’
Others are still glad to have survived the storm.
‘I’m worse off financially and emotionally, but still thankful to God for sparing our lives,’ said one person.
Ivan apparently did a favour for one person who said he or she was better off now.
‘No more mortgage!’ the person commented.