“How much is a carton of milk?”
It’s a popular question posed to politicians everywhere during election season to test how in touch they are with the people they hope to represent.
For any candidates prepping for the campaign trail in Cayman, we can tell them this – it’s expensive.
At $7 for a gallon jug, we are paying twice as much as shoppers in the US and three times as much as the average Brit.
The same, or similar, can be said of almost every item in every aisle in the grocery store.
It is a trend that extends well beyond the supermarkets and has implications for the standard and quality of life of everyone in these islands.
In a detailed report in our Issues section, we examine every aspect of the cost of living in Cayman.
The headline conclusions of that exercise are perhaps not so surprising. We all know that Cayman is an expensive place to call home.
A premium on food, rent and other essentials comes with the territory.
But the extent of the mark-up is, in some cases, quite staggering.
The average house price in Cayman comes in at just under a million dollars – triple the average for England or the US.
Even after a COVID-influenced exodus of expats, rent is still more than $2,000-a-month – double the US average.
Everything from broadband and gym membership to a trip to the movies and a taxi-ride home costs substantially more in Cayman.
But before we drown our sorrows in premium-priced beer, we should also note that salaries follow the same trend.
Cayman Islands residents earn marginally more than US workers and a whopping $10,000-a-year more than the average Brit.
When you consider that we don’t pay income tax, that $50 steak dinner begins to look a bit more reasonable.
It is a question of balance and the numbers only tell part of the story.
Over the next month in the Cayman Compass Issues section, we will take a deeper look at Cayman’s cost of living and how it impacts ordinary people.
Are owning a home and starting a family rights that are realistic and affordable for everyone?
Is it possible to survive on the minimum wage in these islands?
What power do decision-makers really have to control these costs?
For any candidate running in Cayman there is no excuse for not knowing the price of milk, or any other basic necessity. The more pertinent question might be, “Why is it so expensive and what will you do about it?”