People are hungry; there might be no ABST-reduction weekend; the
clearing period for the Christmas Barrel Initiative has been reduced;
and the Browne Administration complains that it has no money –
and, yet, taxpayers could be saddled with paying for another “One
In a Facebook post, Prime Minister Gaston Browne has suggested a
slate of artistes who might be contracted to perform at the annual
concert, usually held in January.
The list includes renowned Jamaican artistes Beenie Man and Beres
Hammond and Trinidadian soca diva Patrice.
However, the response to the announcement of what used to be a
much-anticipated concert was a barrage of criticism.
Most of those who responded to Browne were of the opinion that
the taxpayers’ money should be better used for things such as
implementing the ABST-free weekend; fixing the poor infrastructure
and the ailing health sector; paying overtime and other emoluments
owed to public servants; repairing the police stations; and
addressing the water crisis.
Persons commented that the artistes mentioned were very costly
and there was no need for this concert given the state of the
Since the Administration is contemplating an increase of 2 percent
on the ABST rate – from 15 to 17 percent – in order to meet salary
increases, some critics are asking from what source the money to
host this concert will be drawn.
Some people say the government would be wicked to have people
starving while hosting an event that would cost millions of dollars –
which would not be circulated in the country’s economy.
Some note that, while it is being advertised as a free concert, it is
actually a cost to the people through the ABST and other taxes or
It appears, however, that the prime minister has removed the post,
given the barrage of criticism from members of the public.
Again, PM Browne seems to have been testing the waters, a source