The cutting of rates of duty in the budget were welcomed by respondents in the latest Cayman Compass online poll, but many felt the measures did not go far enough.
Of 372 participants in the poll, 179 people – 48.1 percent – said the cuts should have been bigger because “everything is so expensive here.” Another 56 people, 15.1 percent, said the duty cuts announced by government in the latest budget that it would “only mean a few dollars. Who cares about $2 off a $100” shopping bill.
On the other hand, 95 people, 25.5 percent, said that “yes, it’ll save me money. Every cent counts.” Some 29 participants (7.8 percent) selected “Government needs all the money it can get. Reverse these duty rate cuts.”
The remaining 13 people, or 3.5 percent, selected “Other.”
It was the latter group that were the most voluble, offering plenty of comments to go with their selection.
“What I give on my home bills, I pay double for for my business,” one person revealed.
Another took a business-centric view on proceedings. “Government is like Kmart,” began the reader. “Just a failure. They should shut it down and reorganize.”
The utilities companies came in for criticism from several people.
“How can you save anything when as soon as one rate is cut, two other rates (e.g. electricity and groceries) go up just so the company can make a bigger profit?” asked one participant.
Another person agreed with that sentiment.
“No. Cut CUC bill. Ridiculous they get revenue guarantee,” wrote the reader.
Someone else went into more detail about the situation. “Due to the recent hike in rates by CUC, the government tax reduction only served to soften the overall rate increase. Now, instead of paying the full rate increase, it works out to only being an ‘offset’ of the increase,” pointed out that individual.
Someone else put the rate cut into the context of everyday life and sounded a tone of realism.
“I don’t believe that it will make any noticeable difference,” the pollster began. “Whilst my CUC bill will be fractionally cheaper, I can’t see that the retailers are going to pass on their savings to us. When have you ever seen a retailer drop their prices long term (other than for weekly specials)?
“The money they save on duty will not be paid forward, and there is talk of putting up their business CUC rates anyway. So we won’t be seeing that $2 saving.”
Another Cayman Compass reader struck a similar note, saying: “I think companies will save but these savings will not be passed to the consumer.”
That theme was taken up by a fellow reader.
“No, because it still falls on companies to reflect these cuts on their prices,” wrote the reader.
One individual had a flippant but no doubt popular opinion. “Electricity should be free for all Caymanians,” said the reader, somewhat hopefully.
Next week’s poll question
- Where will you watch the World Cup?
- In the pub.
- At home on TV.
- In Brazil. I’ve got tickets!
- Nowhere. I hate football.
- Other (explain).
To participate, visit caymancompass.com.