Ministers delay approval of $7.4M Carnival budget

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A whopping $7.4 million proposed budget for the 60th anniversary of Carnival has raised the eyebrows of the ministers of government who met at Cabinet this week only to adjourn without approving the sum.
According to the government’s Chief of Staff Lionel “Max” Hurst, the ministers decided the $7.4 million figure “was more ambitious” than was “reasonable at this time” and asked the Festivals Commission that the budget be revised and reduced.
However, Minister of Information Melford Nicholas said that Minister of National Festivals, EP Chet Greene was overseas on government business during the Cabinet session. Greene’s absence meant that he was not able to defend the sum when the Cabinet held session on Wednesday.
Some Caribbean countries spend considerably less on their carnival celebrations. In February this year, Dominica Vibes reported that the budget for Dominica’s Carnival – Mas Dominik – had doubled from $360,000 to $720,000.
In January, the St Kitts & Nevis Observer reported that the 2017 budget for Sugar Mas – St Kitts & Nevis’ national carnival – was $4.5 million and In May, HTS News Force in St Lucia reported that the budget for that country’s carnival was a little over $3 million.
However, Nicholas, the minister of information said he spoke to Greene via phone on Thursday morning and then claimed that a “clearer picture” had been presented.
Nicholas said; “It’s is a special occasion and a special milestone and the incremental cost of putting on a special event would cause the Ministry of Culture to advance a more ambitious budget.”
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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