National Lotteries Control Board (NLCB) chairman Marvin Johncilla said the board will not be as free-handed with its public spending as in years gone by, now that lottery winnings will be attracting a ten per cent tax as of December 1.
Johncilla, in Tobago for last Saturday’s 50th anniversary celebrations of the NLCB Buccooneers Steel Orchestra at the Magdalena Grand Gold and Beach Resort in Lowlands, said, however, that the board will not abandon these players.
“There will be a reduction as we have all been asked to do more with less. Certainly, NLCB is no different. But we will remain committed to our social responsibility, but we will doing so at a much reduced level.”
On the tax announced by Finance Minister Colm Imbert in his October 2 budget, Johncilla said:
“We are expecting some challenges. We are supporting the policy of the Minister of Finance. We have put in place our contingency arrangements. We know it is going to be a difficult task to continue to maintain the levels of profitability which we’ve been accustomed to, but we also will not be throwing our hands in the air and simply giving up.”
On the NLCB Buccooneers, he said the board’s relationship with the steel band was still going strong.
“I am very proud of the milestone that the NLCB Buccooneers Steel Orchestra would have achieved,” he said.
As to the band's plans to tour internationally, Johncilla said “The NLCB will be treating with each project on a case-by-case basis. I have heard of the band’s interest in travelling and once the overall financing can be obtained then we will assist.
“We have a corporate social responsibility and outreach strategy. The strategy caters for arts, culture, education, sport and community development. That is some of the areas we will be pursuing and once there are very viable projects that we can partner with other interested parties here in Tobago, we will certainly do that,” he added.