Gov't says ‘emancipendence’ spending will generate revenue for small businesses
Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer
The Government says the $100 million set aside for Emancipation and Independence celebrations this year, will be generating revenues for Jamaica's medium, small and micro businesses.
The Government has been criticised for the allocation in light of the current economic climate.
However, Permanent Secretary in the culture ministry Sydney Bartley, says the staging of events should be seen as much more than leisure or entertainment activities.
He says they should be viewed as part of a creative industry which generates jobs and other opportunities for hundreds of Jamaicans.
He argues that when the Government puts on Independence celebrations, dancers, musicians, bands, sound system operators, hairdressers, vendors and many others are employed.
The Permanent Secretary says many of the participants in the cultural activities are from inner-city communities who look forward to the staging of the Emancipation/Independence events primarily because of the potential to earn.
Minister of Culture, Lisa Hanna, has argued that the Government is aware of the economic challenges that the country is facing and as such the celebrations will be held within the context of fiscal responsibility and done within budget.
The Jamaica Cultural Development Commission has also come out declaring that the $100 million will be well-spent.