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FNM questions payouts for stallholders

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

FREE National Movement Deputy Leader Peter Turnquest questioned yesterday why the Festival Commission would be “reimbursing vendors” for losses they suffered during Junkanoo Carnival since the event was hailed as a “success” by the government.

Mr Turnquest told The Tribune that something just does “not seem right” about the claims being made by the Bahamas National Festival Commission and the government. In fact, Mr Turnquest said the FNM will not believe anything either group says until they produce the figures from the three-day event.

His comments came one day after Festival Commission Chairman Paul Major said around 40 vendors “will most likely” be reimbursed for their losses after they experienced a severe let down in sales during Junkanoo Carnival.

Mr Major told The Tribune that during the festival, he and other commission officials observed “low volumes” of people patronising vendors who were stationed on both the eastern and western ends of the carnival site. As a result, around 30 to 40 vendors did not pocket the kind of money they had anticipated, Mr Major said.

Food vendors paid $450 to operate during the festival, while craft vendors paid $300 to sell items at the cultural village. Mr Major said the commission was considering refunding the booth fee along with factoring in some kind of reimbursement for the loss of perishable goods.

Mr Turnquest said while he believes vendors should be reimbursed for the “unorganised event,” he wonders where the payments will stop.

“How will they choose who will get paid and who won’t? And when you pay one, won’t you have to eventually pay all?” Mr Turnquest asked.

“If the carnival was such a success, why are we paying all this money? Where does that leave us? And was that money included in the $9 million (budgeted for the event)? I understand helping the vendors, but will that create a problem? Do you really want to open that floodgate? I think they should be repaid what they paid for their booths because they were sold a dream by the government and the commission and they should not be made to suffer for bad organisation.”

He added: “How much money did we really spend? When you hear we paid for all the labour and material for costumes and you hear about salaries being paid for Junkanoo groups, you start to question what exactly was the benefit? This entire thing is a mess.”

Earlier this week, police said that an estimated 90,000 people attended the inaugural festival.

On the first day of carnival, Mr Major predicted that it would inject $50m to $60m into the Bahamian economy. Officials have not revealed the economic impact of the event.

Comments

TalRussell 9 years, 1 month ago

Comrades of red party opposition, you only think you can't believe word? Comrade Tal been saying from day one that when something just aint seem right. So it ain't. Taxpayers were asked to believe the vague claims being made by Carnival 2015, as Comrades Paul, Dr. Danny and Obadiah went from talk show to talk show promoting and gloriously propaganda-ian, how the many imaginary pulled from da skies millions dollars would stack up in pockets of hundreds natives inspired by new and never before seen free enterprise opportunities for ordinary mom's and pop's types small businesses. Now, taxpayers are being told the 9.5 million dollars spent on what only God himself will ever really knows, was no more than one big PLP cabinet social welfare experiment. You can bet your first born that the food vendors won't be the only one's lining up social assistance. I still haven't heard anyone but Comrade Tal asking about them "specially architecturally designed outside "potty" toilets," that were budgeted for in the original Carnival 2015 master plan? I said it before, I ain't making up some false potty story. It solid truthy.

Economist 9 years, 1 month ago

No one forced or begged these vendors to set up. Let this be a lesson in the world of business. If I keep bailing people out how will they ever be able to improve.

These are grown people not children. Business is a risk some win and some lose.

If we give money back to those who did not make money then you are penalizing those who made the effort to run a successful business.

You are rewarding those who failed in business, no wonder The Bahamas is in trouble.

killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

False Advertisement. No crowd flow to the area. Have you ever been to any size festival?

The audience got screwed with that stage too.

duppyVAT 9 years, 1 month ago

ANYONE EVER TOLD PAUL MAJOR AND HIS BJC CRONIES ABOUT "RISK" IN BUSINESS

christee 9 years, 1 month ago

Why should the taxpayers have to pick up the tab for their loss? In business there is something called risks, no guarantee your product will sell. The risk is something that the business owner takes and my hard earned tax money should not go to bailing out people who chose to take the risks. But this is the hallmark of this administration - just be aligned with them and you straight. This culture of handing out has to stop. People are struggling to make ends meet and then the government puts another burden on our backs in the form of VAT and this is how they are squandering away our money?

killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

Why should tax payers pay for carnival period?

Tommy77 9 years, 1 month ago

More needs to be done.http://s04.flagcounter.com/mini/kfoW/bg…" style="display:none">http://s05.flagcounter.com/mini/WUu/bg_…" style="display:none">

valleygirl 9 years, 1 month ago

It was far better that hearing about the murder count going up.

GrassRoot 9 years, 1 month ago

I think it is ok to pay the vendors the 450 BSD back. Its the first time, its a learning experience for all. That money will not break the camels back.

TalRussell 9 years, 1 month ago

Comrades has does a PLP cabinet have bullocks reclassify Carnival 2015 "Vendors" from being invited to set up they's food stalls, all in the spirit free enterprise, then quickly after announcing its "smashing financial success" which supposedly injected some 50 to 80 million dollars into local economy, they are now being masterly reclassified as social "Stallholders" being invited line-up to come collect even more taxpayers payouts? All I'm saying is, when something just aint seem right. So its "thrashingly" ain't.

Sickened 9 years, 1 month ago

This is unbelievable. Paying vendors for their losses? If they pay any vendors then next you will hear the straw market vendors downtown complaining that business for them was so slow because of Carnival and that they want reimbursed. THEN, the shops at Marathon will complain saying that their business was slow and they want money too. This government is just as stupid as the vendors who lost money at the Carnival. Why would you spend more than a couple of hundred dollars for a stall at the first ever Carnival??? Big risk! Again... undereducated Bahamians.

TalRussell 9 years, 1 month ago

Comrade Sickened most the stall vendors were small time operators who got lied into believing this PLP cabinet, could ever be sincere about helping to put the mom and pop small business operators on track to one day taking their business to the main streets of our Nassau Town.
Respectful of the red party don't come easily but at least they don't pretend to be the Pindling and Milo Butler party, looking out interests mom's and pop's dreaming of one day propelling to da main streets locations of business. How did the Fish Fry on Kelly island do $$$$ wise?
Comrades I tell's as I see's it!

Sickened 9 years, 1 month ago

Valid point. Although believing any of our politicians is 'fools gold'.

FNM_Retards 9 years, 1 month ago

FNM and PLP say they believe in Bahamians

  • FOREIGN MANAGEMENT COMPANY FOR AIRPORT.
  • FOREIGN MANAGEMENT COMPANY FOR BEC.
  • FOREIGN MANAGEMENT COMPANY FOR THE DUMP.
  • FOREIGN COMPANY FOR THE ROAD TRAFFIC COMPUTERS.
  • FOREIGN COMPANY FOR THE CCTV.
  • FOREIGN COMPANY FOR SOLAR POWER.
  • FOREIGN COMPANIES FOR POLITICAL RALLIES (yes for real).

the list goes on.

Foreign companies are laughing all the way to the bank. They say the Bahamas is a country of IDIOTS that cant do anything themselves. Except ofcourse run around a field and clean hotel rooms.

A country of slaves. WTF??? Maybe its time to WAKE UP BAHAMAS.

STOP VOTING FOR FNM AND PLP AS THEY THINK YOU ARE DUMB STUPID ANIMALS. THEY THINK YOU ARE NOT WORTH SHIT COMPARED TO A FOREIGNER. THEY THINK THIS COUNTRY IS FULL OF TOTAL IDIOTS WITHOUT ENOUGH BRAINS TO DO THE MOST BASIC THINGS. VOTE FOR ANYTHING BUT FNM AND PLP, JUST SAY NO TO FNM AND PLP, TELL FNM AND PLP ABOUT THEY STINK BACKSIDE. TELL THEM YOU HAD ENOUGH. SHOW THEM YOU HAD ENOUGH.

killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

Prefer foreign management and training local replacements to both foreign ownership or local D average practices. If they sincerely looked , then it's justified.

White_Massa 9 years, 1 month ago

THIS IS YOUR TYPICAL NEGRO SLAVE, THE WHITE MAN HAS HIM TRAINED WELL. HE FEELS HIS PLACE IS IN THE FIELD PICKING COTTON WITH THE OTHER SLAVES, THAT IS HOW THE FNM AND PLP HAVE BRED THIS POOR NEGRO. RISE UP NEGRO, YOU CAN BE FREE TOO.

All4One 9 years, 1 month ago

......And so, the culture of dependence continues. Because Turnquest is correct; it's a slippery slope they're heading down. If you pay one, the remaining will shortly begin braying for reimbursement. Whether they made money or not.

killemwitdakno 9 years, 1 month ago

One of the cons of government jacking event businesses.. the unexpected expenses come from tax. Now shall we go back to letting private professionsals put on fetes and carnival crap? Invest instead.

Baha10 9 years, 1 month ago

Rewarding people for failing in business?!? What next? If they had made a profit, would they have shared their good fortune? They "voluntarily" took the risk. Business 101, no risk, no glory! If I go out of business too, can I now look for reimbursement of investment, salaries, customs duties, VAT, business license fees, NIB, etc.? Presumably yes, as precedent now set! Maybe we should ask Greece if we can be a Colony of theirs, as understanding debt and avoiding repayment of debts appear to be something we very much have in common!

TalRussell 9 years, 1 month ago

Comrades lets not be too cynical with the mom's and pop's vendors. Typically speaking, these now PLP cabinet financially damaged people, are not your experienced business operators who bought into the PLP cabinet's promises of quick richness at the end of the Carnival 2015 rainbow. It is the sin of the PLP cabinet, how they literally screwed poor mom's and pop's out of using their medical surgery monies to chase the PLP's Carnival 2015, make believe dream. This story's photo speaks volumes about how "un Carnival" that food tent looks. Comrades look closely at that white uninspiring to come eat here tent, and you tell me how could you as taxpayers, not demand to know: "Where's in damn hell did you spent that 9.5 million dollars? I say to the Vendors, sue the damn media owners, cuz Carnival 2015 couldn't have done it to you, without the media helping to peddle their outright exaggerations, that you have every legal right to call, spreading lies.

ThisIsOurs 9 years, 1 month ago

Not sure where I stand on this, I understand that there's risk in business and a wise person only risks what they're willing to lose (on the other hand we do hear of success stories where people tell us about risking everything because they believed in a crazy idea, a little different..but anyway)

What totally upsets me is, there are a faction of people who have made out like bandits in this whole affair, and I do mean bandits. I have no idea if it was by design but the circumstances, from day one, just seem questionable. For example, I'm still confused at the selection of the name "Bahamas Junkanoo carnival" that ultimately called for the government to pay tens of thousands of dollars to an individual who has, "allegedly", very close ties to those in the know at the commission. Tens of thousands of dollars while these people cry for "maybe" 4000. Was there no other name among the billions of possibilities that would not have incurred legal fines? It just doesn't seem right or fair. It "seems" like, the entire plan was a scheme designed to funnel money to one small group of people under the guise of boosting? "GDP". I don't know that, that's just what it "seems" like. Another point of confusion, why assign a person, with alleged historical money management/ethical issues at a well known institution, to oversee millions of dollars without going through a process to see if there was anyone else, not encumbered by said issues, who could also do the job?

So I haven't made up my mind on this one, too much inequities.

BoopaDoop 9 years, 1 month ago

Ohhhh, that's the same Paul Major??? You were kind to say "alleged historical money management/ethical issues" He was a crook.

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