Saturday, February 24, 2018

Return Carnival $$ to all stakeholders

Every year officials of the regional carnivals complain about not receiving enough funding. Why do all our governments think they can insult our intelligence when the funds collected by the state from January to February during every Carnival season are never revealed by the Minister of Finance?

I remember years ago the then Carnival Development Committee chairman Prince Cumberbatch saying that Carnival must not show a profit. A few years ago a tourism minister said the state gets about $600 million from the celebrations but that was before 9/11. It would be nice to know what is the take from the Minister of Finance the present numbers for the Carnival celebrations.

The interest groups like NCBA, Pan Trinbago and TUCO don’t run Carnival. That is the job of the state. We are the employees. Fellas, it is about time we demand our pound of flesh. We are not begging for any handout. We are not asking for taxpayers’ dollars. Just a fair share of the returns that you make. Because of us there are Carnival celebrations.

The Prime Minister has shot down any idea of cancelling Carnival because of the crime situation in the country. What she did not say is her main reason for not cancelling Carnival is because it is a high revenue source for Trinidad and Tobago.

So Mr Minister of Arts and Multiculturalism, you should also stop fooling the rank and file and do the right thing and get more funding for all of the regional carnivals and the interest groups.

Milton “Wire” Austin

via e-mail