The minister with responsibility for sports, Shawn Richards, indicated to MiyVue.com recently that the situation is a matter of obvious concern, since the hosting of matches will be costing the country millions of dollars.
“These are not games that cost $10, $20, $30. These are games that are costing us millions of dollars. As a government, we have to account to the people. As a government, we have to, as a much as possible, ensure that we budget to meet the needs of the Federation.
“When you have these events taking place without the necessary budgetary support, it forces the government to find the funds from elsewhere. And finding the funds from elsewhere can very well mean that you will have to reduce the budget that you would have allocated for doing other things within government and that is a situation we do not want,” Minister Richards explained.
The sports minister emphasized that the government will have to look at its books and weight the options.
“That is a situation whereby you have to look at the revenue and expenses of the government and make a determination on if the government can afford it, and if it is that the government takes a decision to somehow afford it, where does the revenue come from?” Richards noted.
He shot down the notion that taxes would be imposed to garner funds to fill the gap where events are scheduled and no funds are available to cover the cost of hosting them.
“You don’t want to impose taxes on anybody or on anything of that nature or on any person to meet the cost of doing these particular undertakings,” said Richards. “So ideally you want to ensure that you budget for them, and during the budgetary process, you would know where the funds are coming from.”
Richards indicated earlier that a contract was signed between the then Labour government and the Caribbean Premier League, and concerns are raised in some quarters over the non-payment of that contractual figure.