Not all are bothered
Prices at petrol stations across
Grand Cayman have increased at least 25 cents per gallon because of an increase
on import duty, causing some in the community to grumble about the growing cost
of living in the Cayman Islands.
The higher import duty on gas and
diesel fuel, which is expected to raise some $10 million for government coffers
within the next year, was approved by a majority vote in the Legislative
Assembly last month.
One bright spot for the public was
that the new fees did not go into effect until the last supply of gas, which
was imported at the lower duty rate of 50 cents per gallon for gasoline and 60
cents per gallon for diesel, had run out, giving consumers some time to prepare
for the increases.
The new duty rate is 75 cents per
gallon on gas and 85 cents per gallon on diesel.
“Twenty five dollars usually gives
me a half of tank of gas and now I am barely crossing the quarter-tank mark,”
said Peter Clarke. “This is quite concerning because I live in East End and by
the time I drive there to town and back two times, the gas is done.” He said he
realises the matter is out of the hands of station owners, as they are simply
passing on the cost.
Aspiring university student Tailor
Ribbens said, “The gas prices are getting to be quite exorbitant and it’s hard
to save before going off to school, even though I have a summer job. I would
bike to work, but it’s so hot and this requires me to burn more air
conditioning and spend more as a result.”
Terri Howard of Mike’s Esso was
more receptive than most toward the gas price increases.
“The increase was quite well
publicised before it came into effect and so I think people have had enough
time to prepare.
We all knew prices were going up
and I think most people have resigned themselves to the new reality.
“I don’t think it is necessarily
the wrong thing for the government to do, but I do think they need to start
looking at cutting costs because the consumer cannot be expected to pick up the
bill all the time.
There has got to be some creativity
with regard to how the finances are controlled.”
Chris Wight of the Walker’s Road
Texaco said he does not support the new measure and pointed out that the
feedback he gets from his customers is negative.
“Our hands are tied and the
customers are complaining to us, but it is something we are going to have to
live with, it seems. What I am truly
concerned about is how people will react when they get their CUC (utility)
He added that though the cost does
not directly affect stations’ books because the cost is passed on, it does have
a bearing on how much gas people are going to be buying in the future.