The rising cost of living in the Cayman Islands is the issue that most worries almost half of the 590 respondents to the most recent caycompass.com online poll.
The results of this poll echo those of a similar one conducted in November 2006 when 52.8 per cent of the respondents said the cost of living was the issue that concerned them most.
In this year’s poll, 280 people (47.5 per cent) said the cost of living was the issue that worried them most.
‘With home insurance and CUC [electricity bills] in the stratosphere, we are ruined,’ said one person.
‘The rising cost of living is, in my opinion, the most pressing issue facing our country and it needs to be addressed as a matter of priority,’ said someone else.
‘I’m worried about all of the above [possible responses] to a certain degree, but I suppose I worry about the ridiculous cost of living the most these days,’ said another person. ‘It’s becoming too expensive to just survive, let alone get ahead.’
Over-development was the issue that worried 136 of the respondents (23.1 per cent) the most.
‘Over-development will result in the destruction of the environment, loss of Cayman’s small-town charm, not to mention issues such as traffic and pollution, all of which will no doubt hinder tourism and the economy,’ said one respondent.
‘Over-development because it has in fact changed Cayman,’ said another person. ‘I’m a Caymanian living abroad, but if it wasn’t for Cayman Brac and Little Cayman, I would not see Cayman but once per year for business purposes. What a shame; too much greed.’
The implementation of the rollover policy was the issue that most worried 89 people (15.1 per cent). In last year’s poll, the rollover policy worried 26.3 people most.
‘The rollover policy doesn’t work,’ said one person. ‘It’s a recipe for failure. In Bermuda it didn’t work and look at the mess that island is in. Here it is very selective, especially to Jamaicans. Stop the rollover policy before it is too late.’
‘It is wrong to take beloved and trusted nannies and teachers away from children,’ commented another respondent.
The state of tourism worried 33 people (5.6 per cent) most and the state of health care and/or health insurance most worried 30 people (5.1 per cent).
‘Having to pay for private insurance and having no national health care for all people for all circumstances is simply immoral,’ said one person. ‘I would prefer to contribute to a fund from which all people are covered.’
‘I really pray I don’t get sick or injured and have to be treated here,’ said another person. ‘The decline of health care here is a national disgrace.’
Twenty-two respondents (3.7 per cent) said other issues worried them most.
‘The fact that Caymanians have become second class citizens in their own country,’ said one person.
Someone else had a similar sentiment: ‘The decreasing relative participation of Caymanians in the economy, the marginalisation of the Caymanian people, and continuing abuses of laws to the detriment of both Caymanians and expatriates.’
‘Education; too many Cayman school leavers are completely unequipped for the workplace,’ said another respondent.
Issues that worried other people the most included the number of fatal road accidents; the lack of progress with constitutional change; global warming; the falling value of the US dollar; and the number of immigrants coming to the country.