Budget shift

Lashley wants Govt to divert money from tourism to culture

Minister of Culture, Sport and Youth Stephen Lashley wants a bigger slice of the Budget pie for the cultural industries and a “shift” in some of Government’s funding away from the tourism sector.

Additionally, Lashley made it clear that if he had his way, the incentives offered to the tourism sector would come with stringer conditions.

Barbados currently relies heavily on tourism, international business and the construction sector for most of its economic activity and foreign exchange inflows.

“We provide a lot of incentives to our tourism sector and hotels for building plants and refurbishing. I believe what we should be doing is adding some more conditions to those incentives that we provide. So, if we are providing incentives for investors to come into Barbados and build a hotel plant and if they want to refurbish . . . make it part of the condition that you should be spending ‘X’ per cent of what you are doing with the creative sector, for example . . . . I think we have to find those areas of collaboration in an inter-sectorial way for everybody to have [a piece] of the cake,” Lashley said.

He was addressing the Conduits to Commerce workshop on music synchronization licensing at the Coconut Court Hotel today.

Pointing out that the traditional ways of earning revenue from the cultural industries were outdated, Lashley said it was critical for those in the industry to have greater belief in themselves and do more internationally, and for Government to “put some resources behind that”.

Stressing that the country was in need of foreign exchange, the minister said he was satisfied the multi-billion-dollar cultural industries could be a major conduit for such and he was eager for the country to earn more from the sector to help with the ongoing fiscal challenges.

He could not immediately say what percentage of the island’s gross domestic product (GDP) came from the cultural industries.

However, Lashley said his ministry was in the process of conducting a mapping exercise to determine that contribution.

“I think it is important, because in order for us to plan and to understand the contribution we have to have the data. I think the data would perhaps help some of our policymakers to shift their thinking in relation to the kind of economic policy that are developing Barbados,” he said.

“We are standing on the cusp of an industry . . . that has the potential to transform the economy of Barbados and we need more people to believe in that and not just think of it each day. We have to place more emphasis on this issue. I think that even as we are going through, in our region, challenges economically, we need to focus more attention on the potential of what this sector can do in terms of earning revenue streams.”

The minister also promoted collaboration between local and regional artistes, stressing that “once we get those ducks lined up in the right place, then the dividends will accrue to the benefit of you, the artistes, and by extension to the benefit of our economy”.

The workshop, which is one of several CARIFESTA XIII activities, was a joint collaboration between the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries, CRS Music and the Cultural Industries Development Authority (CIDA).

It was designed to, among other things, explore examples of songs used in the existing sync market, help content owners and music copyright holders and entertainers understand how contracts are negotiated in the industry, discuss various standards, and examine how contracts and deals are agreed upon.

5 Responses to Budget shift

  1. Lee August 23, 2017 at 7:02 am

    What does “stringer” mean? Is this another cultural invention?

  2. Alex Alleyne August 23, 2017 at 10:59 am

    The only sport need large sums of money is “THE BARBADOS ROAD TENNIS”. Let us put the money in a real BAJAN sport.
    Make deep cuts in Football and Cricket.

  3. Milli Watt August 23, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    sstttuuuuuppppssseeeeeeeeeee…………….to carry away to…………

  4. Nathaniel Samuels August 28, 2017 at 4:15 pm

    What can road tennis bring in terms of foreign exchange for Barbados? Be realistic.
    Obviously it is a typo and the word should be ‘stringent’.

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