‘Bahamian Govt Won’T Clean Up After Carnival’

Bahamian PRIME Minister Dr Hubert Minnis has told Carnival band owners to clean up after themselves when future Road Fever parades have ended.

#While the clean up effort for the 2019 parade cost taxpayers just under $10,000, Dr Minnis said moving forward, “We will save our money for something else.”

#“Of course, many of the vendors who benefited from the PLP Carnival were well-connected special interests,” Dr Minnis told Parliament on Wednesday. “If private citizens want to have a carnival, that is their right. But the government should not be paying for such a party. So, this government stopped spending the people’s money on the PLP Carnival.”

#He added: “And, Mr Speaker, I want to send a notice out to the private owners, the contractors of the Carnival, we made a commitment that we will not spend government money.

#“But during the last Carnival it cost us an average $9,473.92 to clean up after it.

#“That will be the private owners’ responsibility next time. We will save our money for something else.”

#The government indicated in 2018 that it intended to completely privatise Bahamas Carnival ahead of that year’s festival.

#In 2015, the Christie administration spent $11.3m on the inaugural event, going over its initial budget of $9m. The total cost of the first carnival was $12.9 million, with the rest covered by sponsors.

#In 2016, the festival incurred a cost of $9.8m, $8.1m of which was subsidised by the government. The 2017 financial report was not released.

#However, Paul Major, the former Bahamas National Festival Commission (BNFC) chairman, said $4m was spent on the 2017 version.

#Dr Minnis on Wednesday castigated the former government saying it preferred to spend over $25m on Carnival instead of completing much needed repairs to the Children’s Ward at Princess Margaret Hospital. The Progressive Liberal Party has denied this assertion.