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Reality cheque


WAYNE WILLOCK

Reality cheque

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Both at the risk of further victimisation as well as with some measure of despair, I have to put pen to paper again. We have a minimum of four Government ministers taking turns at attacking their own Government. Is this to ensure that they regain their seats next year?

People and businesses continue to suffer at an alarming rate and even the recently appointed acting Governor of the Central Bank seems to be having a problem with how those in authority are tackling the economic crisis which is quickly becoming a calamity.

The National Insurance Scheme and foreign reserves going down, stacked against the National Social Responsibility Levy which I call the New Sanity Reduction Liability (up 400 per cent) and a VAT that was supposed to have been reverted from 17.5 per cent to 15 per cent in 18 months. My goodness! Finance officials not being able to count to 18?

Where are the funds from the latter two going? Being used for what? High-end vehicles? I could do with one as well as a taxpayer. And they are now planning to check on car emissions but people still burning stuff, the former as a result of age but the latter on purpose.

Talking about money, $6 million was allocated to CARIFESTA, touted to have been oh so wonderful, but was it? Artistes and artists alike mumble behind the scenes as usual and no talk of the inadequacies and blunders encountered. Did anyone do a survey of the visiting contingents’ views on the event? What about our local people?

I encountered time wastage, poor communication and planning, too many events at the same time and then the expectation that the average person under present conditions could have paid $50 a night to see dance and drama, while wanting to see some musical presentations which were free. Not to mention the displays at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre which somebody got some sense and made free after three unsuccessful days.

Then there was the secretariat demanding all kinds of personal information (which was eventually unused) supposedly for security purposes. Then that secretariat (how do they pick people for these things though?) gave the operational mandate to the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) which insisted on contracts being signed with deadlines for payment clearly indicated.

Ten weeks after the payment deadline, I cannot get paid and don’t have the money to pay a lawyer to sue. So I had to keep waiting because even the minister said that he did not deal with the funds which had to be transferred to the NCF’s coffers in order to effect payments. (Fortunately, I got my cheque just before I sent this article out.)

Nevertheless, the NCF had to take the heat and look unprofessional, not being able to honour those contracts in a timely manner. So the CEO and chief accountant had to keep telling people to “give us a little more time”. Imagine if I was ten hours late to honour my side of the contractual liabilities, I would have been blacklisted. No surprise! I might already, or still, be!

So if you see that I have to write about this again (being victimised), don’t say that I didn’t tell you so. So, thanks for my cheque. This is the reality of it! Not just from me but several others who would opt to keep their mouths shut about these kinds of things like Bajans usually do. Duh! I suppose this is how one develops the cultural industries!

I have some licks for the Fully Sanctioned Confusion but I hear I might get charged, so that one has to be formulated strategically.

I gone again.

– WAYNE WILLOCK

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