BVI News

Preliminary Report: 2019 festival saw $300K budget increase to pay inherited debts

Culture Minister Dr Wheatley

Culture Minister Dr Natalio Wheatley said the budgeted allocation for the now-concluded 2019 Emancipation festivities was increased to more than $300,000 to clear off inherited debts.

Dr Wheatley gave that preliminary report during a recent sitting of the House of Assembly. He said “tweaks” are being made to the report.

The minister told the House of Assembly this year’s festival came at the cost of $1,621,156.69, which is lower than the approximate $2.02 million, $1.84 million, and $1.75 million festival expenditure in the years 2014, 2015, and 2016, respectively.

“Only $1.3 million was budgeted for this year’s festival and, therefore, this year there was the need to request additional funding. This year, Festival & Fairs received a report of outstanding bills of approximately $312,000, which contributed to a request for additional funding of approximately $633,000,” Dr Wheatley said.

He said the overrun ‘compares favourably’ with those of previous years and it, “allowed us (the government) to pay the great majority of vendors owed — not just this year, but for previous years.”

Dr Wheatley further said, while there are still a small number of vendors who are in the process of getting paid, the need for an increase in budget for future festivals will likely be eliminated because he intends to pay vendors in a ‘timely manner’.

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  1. vip heckler says:

    instead of good to great we are going from bad to worst

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    • $1.6 mil says:

      You dumba**es spent $1.6 mil for a stupid worthless festival and yet the incinerator remains shut down because you don’t have money for a control panel. What is wrong with all of you? The roads remain full of holes, buildings are in shambles, the economy in disarray and yet you spend millions to bring in a criminal and his music. I guess the criminal part fits as that is how you all act.

      Like 10
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  2. strupes says:

    This one-termer will be gone next election

    Like 11
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  3. Chris says:

    1.6 million to put on a festival for a population of 30,000 people is over $50.00 / person. If this was financed ‘by attendees and vendors and not by the public purse it would be more practical . Any business which ran on constant overruns would go out of business. It is time for this festival to be given a fixed budget and not one dollar more. Are these account available to the public so people can see how the money was spent /overspent . Don’t the people who organize these festivals do any planning or do they just spend money they don’t have.

    Like 16
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    • LB says:

      This is not a business though. Nor is it intended to be. The moment we embrace this, the better the eyes will be that we use to evaluate our festival.

      The benefit to the country is far more important. Vehicle rentals were rented. Air BnB spots occupied. Ferries made money. Etc.

      We need to stop being so narrow minded and short-sighted.

      Like 4
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  4. Hmmm says:

    Mr. Minister, someone needs to sit down with you and give you a financial crash course. If during the budget preparations, outstanding financial obligations were ignored/excluded. It is not an overrun it is called poor bugdeting/forecasting.

    Your report makes absolutely no sense what so ever. It disrespectful for Ministers to bring this type of foolishness to taxpayers.

    Like 21
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    • mwanake says:

      @Hmmm since you know so much about the budget process, why don’t you request to sit in on the festival budget planning? Talk
      is cheap. put your

      Like 5
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    • mwanake says:

      @Hmmm since you know so much about the budget process, why don’t you request to sit in on the festival budget planning? Talk
      is cheap. put your brain where your mouth is.

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      • Hold up says:

        Why are you all being so salty towards Hmm for being correct. I’m a straight shooter. These guys is INEPT ESSPECIALY BARRACUDA FACE.

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  5. help me here says:

    …… but I thought the audits for these years and associated documents were non existent? Where did they get these numbers from now to make the comparison?

    Like 18
  6. Iz Me says:

    I wonder what Myron’s over runs were

  7. Mmm says:

    This doesn’t make any sense. How does an increase in festival days, be less expensive than that of previous years, especially last year. Does this figure include stage and sound? Or is this 1.6mil just the amount of money that the committee received from Govt. This doesn’t add up at all. East end had 25ppl and had two days of events. Who paid for this? Sponsorships? No Minister. Go and come again.

  8. first off says:

    first off.

    the government havent even spent a full year in office and yet we the people are judging their decisions/actions


    we gave ndp 8 years and the majority decided that they are not fit for the people’s business

    it was the same near 8 to 9 years past when ndp won but a history making landslide.

    the saying is right. and the fact it happen in the past means its in our blood

    black dont trust black

    hands down

    it was a black who more than happy to sell out the blacks into slavery

    Like 2
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