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Veteran bandleader Trevor Chase leading his band on Kadooment Day.

bandleaders want relief

VETERAN bandleader Trevor Chase is calling on Government to deliver the promised concessions to bandleaders.

Speaking on Kadooment Day Chase, the leader of Ooutrage and a customs broker by profession, said that while he sees most of the concessions given to hoteliers, he is imploring new Minister of Culture John King to pass legislation allowing bandleaders to get an ease on duties.

“I want it done. We are talking too much and nobody is taking responsibility. I want the Minister of Culture, I want the Prime Minister [Mia Amor Mottley], I want her to give us a little [ease],” he said.

The bandleader noted that he has constantly presented ideas to the National Cultural Foundation (NCF) as it relates to how the Crop Over Festival, including Grand Kadooment, can be improved, but he has not seen any of the concepts being implemented.

However, he said, he believes that progress will be made under the new Barbados Labour Party (BLP) administration.

“While we have put forward several suggestions to the NCF under the previous regime, we always hear we will look at that next year, and nothing ain’t happening. So we are hoping that our new [administration] would do what they have to do,” the bandleader said.

Meanwhile, President of the Barbados Association of Masqueraders (BAM), Chetwyn Stewart, said the Association is trying to organise a meeting with the new Minister of Culture, as bandleaders are in desperate need of some relief from duties.

Stewart said it is not that the bandleaders do not want to pay duties, but the fact stands that they are not receiving a fair chance at the game.

“Hotel’s don’t pay 17.5 per cent and we bring people into the island, so why can’t we pay 7.5 per cent or something like that? The concessions that we were promised over the years coming through the airport and so on, why can’t they be granted as yet? Those are things we have to look at,” Stewart said in an interview. (AH)

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