Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Opposition MP Questions Government Spending On Zouks

A Saint Lucia opposition MP has responded to critics who have questioned his position on the allocation that the Saint Lucia government is giving to the CPL  for the hosting of Saint Lucia Zouks matches here.

Doctor Ernest Hilaire, who is the representative for Castries South, noted on his official Facebook page that there were numerous comments in response to his posted position on the issue.

“Some of the assertions were predictable while others were simply laughable. While I have long accepted that some people will remain steadfast and vehemently defend their party line, what I found notably amusing is the invariable exposure of the double standard and brazen hypocrisy that accompanies this narrative,” Hilaire, who is the former CEO of the West Indies Cricket Board (WICB), observed.

“So all of a sudden the expected defense came out that a subvention to the Zouks ($950, 915 in 2017) is acceptable. Out came the line of – benefits to taxi drivers, hotels, restaurants, television advertising, etc.,” he wrote.

“Now does CPL actually bring in visitors? Well except for Trinidad and Tobago Knightriders there is very little evidence that anyone comes in for matches. What the evidence says is that tourist arrivals for the months when CPL matches were held in Saint Lucia are nothing to shout about! ”

Hilaire pointed to August 2018 as an example.

He recalled that it was  a month when both Mercury Beach Festival and CPL were held.

“There were 768 more people visiting Saint Lucia than in 2017. So if we believe the huge figures given for Mercury Fest then CPL scored badly,” he declared.

“Back to those who were loudly supporting subsidising CPL. Why won’t they support subsiding Radio Saint Lucia? After all we do need a national radio station. Why won’t they support a grant to the National Trust? After all we do need to protect our patrimony? Or do we? Given our credit rating. I can go on and on. But the one that struck me is why don’t they support subsidising Virgin Airlines?” The Castries South MP enquired.

“Virgin Airlines was reported to make an opening request of $20 million over three years, say EC$7 million a year. Virgin Airlines brought in 28,000 visitors last year. Almost every single visitor needed a room, meals, taxi etc for at least 7 days. Millions of dollars spent in the economy. Based on their request and number of persons brought in, Virgin was asking for EC$250 per person,” he stated.

“CPL got EC$950, 951 in 2017. At EC$250 per person, to equal Virgin request CPL would have to bring in 3,804 persons to Saint Lucia for the Zouks matches. And even then they would have to be rejected, like Virgin Airlines. I am convinced they did not bring in 3,000 or 1,000 for that matter. So tell me how do they really justify subsidising CPL?,” Hilaire said.

He disclosed that CPL had requested the same from Doctor Kenny Anthony.

“He refused and instead the Tourist Board took a shirt sponsorship package. The Zouks still played in Saint Lucia. Did we really have to pay CPL that money? And why again?” He stated.

7 COMMENTS

  1. UMMM Hilaire u too smart for us. DE ZOUKS ON FIRE. The opportunity to attend a CPL game seat relax with love ones and family and friends and socialise cannot be calculated. It is a safe lime and am thankful for these events. U forgetting the social aspect. It’s not only about economics and money. Who cares. DE ZOUKS ON FIRE.

  2. Hilaire your numbers make sence,but the emotional factor of a full stadium when we drag all our relatives and friends all cheering for our St Lucia cricket team,you cant put a value on that.Bousejour is a great stadium,its a safe environment,for all our children to go and spend 4 or 5 hours,for all the extras that ocur amongst the spectators,while we are watching the game .What the hell we only go to the stadium seven times per year,its our stadium let us enjoy it our way, I dont really care how much goverment spent ,let me go and shout,drink,meet with friends see nice ladies,curse and swear when we loose,get back home sometimes happy other times pissed off. We need the distraction that gets us away from reality,during those hours

  3. Garcon if de Government didn’t spend de money you would have said why didn’t they spend de money and they have de captain playing on the side and he’s a Lucian and de only way Lucians would have gotten to see him play live and they missed out was because of the Government. Pay for the team franchise and ya’ll ah talk so I really eh know what happen to ya’ll men. Do a ting ya’ll talk negative, doh do a ting and ya’ll talk. Please tell me has this Government ever done anything right in ya’ll eyes that ya’ll can say yes they did this right. Garcon I really want to know what is ya’ll thinking? Ya’ll talk so negative about DSH and de horses dem that the Whole of Lucia base de horse race ting was a Chas idea and S.L.P had nuttin to do with it and ya’ll know Kenny was on the ball to bring it here with horse grooming and s*** cleaning jobs as well. But no Garcon the Lucians dem would have highly technical jobs if ya’ll did it. Garcon get de hell outta here.

  4. Where was all this outrage and love for Saint Lucia when YOU and Kenny SOLD your position to Jufalli and didn’t tell anyone??? When the UK newspapers had to uncover what y’all did and he didn’t even attend any meetings to represent us??? Where was the indignation then??

  5. I hate when politicians come and bring fake figures into the argument. Why don’t the brilliant Ernesto Juffali Hilario do an analysis of the sum total of all the subsidies being paid to the various ngos or government subsidiaries then come back with a cost/ benefit analysis and then make his argument.
    The problem is that you guys oppose everything regardless of what it is. You cannot just look at one event and determine that it isn’t beneficial to the economy or society. Boy do a proper study before you come out with pappyshow.

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