The Prime Minister’s Chief of Staff, Lionel “Max” Hurst, has revealed that some of the performers who participated in last year’s Carnival festivities have not been paid to date.
During a recent interview on OBSERVER AM, Hurst said Festivals Minister Daryll Matthew was currently reviewing ways to pay the government’s debts to entertainers.
He added that local artistes who participated in January’s One Nation concert have also not been paid.
“I believe several entertainers have not been paid, and several mas troupes have not received all what they are owed. [Festivals Minister] Daryll Matthew has repeatedly spoken to Cabinet about the need to find ways to ensure that those who give their service receive what they are owed,” he said.
Meanwhile, President of the Mas’ Association Bryan Thompson confirmed that they have not been paid.
“They [the government] have debts outstanding for 2017 and 2018, which they have money outstanding for all mas’ troupes. For years, the government has given cheques for an event that you may take part in; example being, Prince, Princess, King and Queen of the Band, the large band-of-the-year winners; the schools that participated in Children’s Carnival usually get some money, but for two years they have not received any money,” he said.
Thompson added that the prize money was too small for the service they were offering and said that the government was taking advantage of Carnival.