The high cost of living

Letter to the Editor

Where are we heading with these so very high prices in these Islands? 

I know that we must import just about all we use on these Islands, but look at the salaries of most of the people. For example, some people work for as little as $3.50 per hour when one quart of juice is almost $5 and one loaf of bread is at the hourly wage of $3.50. Also, with the price of energy and water, the cost of living is out of control and wages cannot keep up for as we all know no pay increase is ever put in place for the workers on these Islands. 

Some people have been getting the same wages since the 1980s and many of the people are now forced to work all kinds of crazy hours just to try and pay the bills and because of the very low pay, many of them are not keeping up. 

At this present time, jobs are not there to get and many people are out of work. No answers to this very big problem seem to be coming forward by anyone in government or the private sector. 

Things are hard for many of our people. Some of them are running away to places like England, the USA and Canada in search of a better way to live. 

Not too long ago the Cayman Islands was a place for you to come from any country and get a job. Natives could change jobs if they wanted to, but not now. 

Our employment in all areas has gone into a slump and this is not good for such a small island like we have. Our people are getting a bit upset. I have been on the Marl Road and the things that I hear are not good. Something has to be done quickly in order for us not to have a rapid increase in crime. 

People will not sit still and watch their lives go to hell in a bottle and smile. Many of them will turn to crime if things do not get better here on Cayman. As the old saying goes, hungry man is an angry man. 

Although there is no price control on goods here in Cayman, we must try and adjust the prices to fit the wages of the people. For what is the sense of working all week and your wages cannot feed your family at the end of the each week. People cannot pay the electric and water bill at month’s end. This is a big problem for so many people and getting worse. 

Our children that are going to school, who are the future of this country, are also affected. Many people that are around the age of 60 and without a job cannot find any. And I know they will have it hard to live properly in these times, for many of them have spent their savings in such times as the Ivan storm to fix back their lives or on medical bills or with their children’s school. It is, as I stated, not easy. I hope by the grace of Almighty God we can come out of this mess our people are in now, for we cannot continue down this road with such a very high cost of living. Only the strong shall survive in these days. 

And to all the stores on Cayman, try your best to lower your prices, for even the tourists that come here are negatively effected and many that come off the cruise ships complain and do not spend while on Island. 

Many that come and stay at our hotels do not spend like before when they go in to town. They only look around and go back to the hotel because our prices are too high. I listen to them sometimes ask if the people here are crazy with these high prices. 

Then many of them will compare other places they have gone before and the prices they have found. But they would rather come to Cayman because the people are the nicest, friendliest people they have ever met. 

What will it take for us to bring down the cost of living in Cayman? Perhaps a complete revamp of many things with government and the private sector. We cannot continue down this road; God knows. 


Emile S. Levy 


  1. Fine comment by Emile Levy. My 2 cents: Congratulations and hats off to Billy’s Market on Cayman Brac – yesterday they lowered prices of ALL GOODS IN THE STORE (with the only exception of bottled waters) by 5%. This is a boon to financially-troubled Brackers and obviously a sacrifice by the Boddens in favour of helping out local people. Noted, too, that Market Place at Tibbetts Square has a special rate for elders of 5% off on all goods – on Tuesdays. I wonder how many groceries in Grand Cayman have a 5% off policy in place? Now if only electricity rates could be lowered… Signed, A Grateful Bracker

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