PHILIPSBURG – The Heineken Regatta will not receive subsidy from government allotted for 2015, because it did not use the funds requested for marketing of the island.
Minister of Finance Richard Gibson explained on Wednesday, February 24, that the subsidy given to the Heineken Regatta organizers was earmarked to assist with marketing of the destination for the regatta.
“There was an agreement executed with Heineken Regatta relative to what was going to be given to them as a contribution for 2015, which has not been given up to now,” he explained.
“That contribution was presented to the Council of Ministers to be paid…When you peruse the agreement that was existed last year with Heineken Regatta as to how the funds that were allotted to the Heineken Regatta would be spent, the focus was that these funds would be spent on marketing of the island and not on operation cost. Since then, the report came in that the Heineken Regatta delivered relative to their activities last year and from it can be seen that the funds that they had requested was not spent last year on that specific marketing goal we had in mind, and for that reason we decided no, we will not pay that,” Minister Gibson disclosed.
However, he mentioned that a smaller subsidy in this year’s budget had been allotted for the regatta. “It is not the same amount of last year. Because of budgetary constraints, it is a little lower and that will be paid once the necessary steps are taken to execute,” Gibson said.
Gibson stated that for subsidies to be granted from government to organizations like the Heineken Regatta, the entity’s expenditures must be audited. “The subsidy ordinance, if I’m not mistaken, requires audited statements of expenditures,” he said.