(CMR) Amid concerns about the cost of living in Cayman, Premier of the Cayman Islands, Hon Wayne Panton, has announced that $5 million is being dedicated to helping families across the three islands with increased electricity bills this summer.
“The assistance will be for residential customers only and capped at 2000 kilowatt-hours per month,” Mr. Panton said.
He said a more detailed announcement will be made on the week of 20 June as the details are now being finalized with the utility companies. Some 22,000 families are expected to benefit from the program, which will run from July to September.
The premier also announced a three-month honorarium of $150 each month for civil servants to help them deal with high electricity bills. This will precede a pay increase which is expected later this year.
“As we head into the summer months when temperature and fuel price will rise in tandem, the government will fund and support not one, but three monthly honorarium of $150 to help the civil service fend off high utility cost over the summer,” Mr. Panton said.
He said the money will be paid to non-executive staff, Grade E and below, beginning this month and will continue until August.
In September, the civil servants will also receive a 2 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA), which will provide a sustained salary increase.
Starting December, qualifying employees on non-executive grades will, by way of progression, receive one increment, roughly valued at 2 percent of pay, the premier said
“In total, by the end of the year, the civil service will see a 4.5 percent increase this year, comprising a 2 percent cost of living adjustment (COLA) and the rest in pay progression,” Mr. Panton stated
Mr. Panton said his administration recognizes that these are challenging times and that the 4,400civil servants are working hard to keep things together.
“While our Government has limited levers at its disposal, given the existing drivers of inflation are global factors such as supply chain constraints, war, and a pandemic, the PACT Government remains committed to doing what we can,” he stated.