Today’s Editorial for May 29: Poverty should be erased

We cannot believe that the National Assessment of Living Conditions study actually suggests that someone can buy enough food at $668 a year to stay alive in the Cayman Islands.

That breaks down to just $1.83 a day, That’s 61-cents for each meal.

In some countries you may be able to feast on a rack of lamb all day for $1.83 a day, but not in the Cayman Islands.

How on earth can you actually eat a nutritious meal for only 61-cents?

We came up with some ideas in the Caymanian Compass newsroom about how to survive on $1.83 a day and came up with some very interesting menus, such as chocolate crackers at 8-cents a pack and an 11-cent tea bag for a breakfast meal and one package of Ramen noodles at 29-cents and a can of French cut green beans at 89-cents stretched over two meals for lunch and dinner.

Doesn’t look very nutritious, but the NALC’s explanation of how the surveyors arrived at the $1.83 figure says that figure was arrived at using a basket of goods that ‘maximise one’s nutrient intake at the lowest possible cost.’

We also don’t believe that the poverty level is so much lower than that of the United States.

How can it be when our rents are so much higher than in the US?

We’d bet that our utilities cost more, the costs associated with owning and using telephones is higher here and our gasoline prices are out of sight.

Should we take pride in the fact that we have only 1.9 per cent of the people in the Cayman Islands living below poverty and that most of those are non-Caymanians?

No.

Yes, it is great that we can boast that we have the lowest level of poverty in the Caribbean, but we are one of the richest countries in the world.

There should be no poverty in the Cayman Islands.

Government and the private sector should be doing all they can to put an end to poverty here.

We would like to be able to say after the next assessment that the poverty rate in the Cayman Islands is zero.

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