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Ministers belt-tightening Carnival style

By ANDRE BAGOO Thursday, January 8 2009

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BIRDS OF A FEATHER: There will be no need for any belt-tightening for some members of Government who will next month play mas in swanky, belt-less Car...
BIRDS OF A FEATHER: There will be no need for any belt-tightening for some members of Government who will next month play mas in swanky, belt-less Car...

WHEN Prime Minister Patrick Manning last year called on citizens to tighten their belts in the face of the global economic slow-down, he could not have imagined how some of his Cabinet members would have chosen to interpret this prudent financial advice.

Come Carnival Monday and Tuesday next month, several Government ministers will not tighten, but rather jettison their belts, exchanging them for the feathered and bejewelled cummerbunds of slinky Carnival costumes in trendy Carnival bands.

The lure of playing mas is just too much to resist for some members of Government, some of whom will play in popular mas bands like Tribe’s “Birds of a Feather”. Health Minister Jerry Narace, Energy Minister Conrad Enill and Senator Laurel Lezama will defiantly get into the Carnival groove by playing in the band’s VIP, all-inclusive section called “Blue Tanger”.

The three have registered to play in the section, alongside Prime Minister Patrick Manning’s son, Brian. But according to sources, while the Prime Minister’s wife Hazel, normally enjoys playing in Tribe (she played in the band’s “Black Magic” section last year), she is not expected to play in the band this Carnival season.

Prices for the section “Blue Tanger” range from $3,399 to $4,250 for women and a flat price of $2,595 for men. The unisex section features costumes inspired by the medium-sized South American song bird. Costumes will feature blue and black plumes with silver accents, arm bands and head-pieces.

The all-inclusive section will feature fully stocked premium bars with unlimited supplies of ice-cold alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks, according to the band’s website. Band-members will also enjoy a variety of food (breakfast, lunch, snacks, dessert), private security team, a complementary shuttle service to the band (for latecomers), a goodies bag (filled with Carnival essentials and souvenirs), special Tribe ‘Cool-Zones’ and on-site paramedics.

However some ministers will walk with their own security contingents and own food.

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