Last update: 09-Dec-2013 6:42 pm
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Too little in budget for creative sector—ACTT
There will be more incidents like the Beetham protests if T&T’s creative sector and the economy in general are not developed, Joseph Remy, president of the Federation of Independent Trade Unions (Fitun) warned on Wednesday. “We have seen what is happening in east Port-of-Spain and let us go back to three or four years ago and Fitun’s proposals for the development of east Port-of-Spain and we would never be seeing this now in T&T. Fitin was clear. We condemn the government for what is happening there now,” he said.
Remy was speaking at a media briefing by the Artists’ Coalition of T&T (ACTT) at the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU), Henry Street, Port-of-Spain. ACTT is a member unit of Fitun. ACTT chairman Gregory Fernandez said Finance Minister Larry Howai will be presenting a large budget next Monday but only a small amount of money is expected to be allocated for the creative industry which is a potentially large revenue earner for the country.
“The country is expecting a budget of $60 billion yet they can not find space for $200 for the creative sector. That is a shame,” he said. He also said ACTT has received information that the progressive agenda of the creative and cultural sector has been vetoed for the next budget.
“This will represent the culmination of a series of betrayals of the arts and cultural sector by this administration stretching back to their first year in office. The betrayal of the sector’s agenda in this budget, however, will have catastrophic effects to all aspects of the sector and society as a whole,” Fernandez said. He said the government’s priorities were not in the right place.
“Education gets $ 9.1 billion in the budget, national security gets $5.5 billion and the arts gets $350 million. It is the smallest allocation. The Government casually spends $300 million on Colour Me Orange in just three months, just to give a perspective,” he said.
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