The Barkeepers & Operators Association (BOATT) said it is deeply disheartened and dissatisfied with not being acknowledged in the 2021 National Budget.
The Association said the move was a blatant disrespect shown to over 20,000 employees in the sector who are all affected with job loss and reduced income.
It also affected business owners who are now facing bankruptcy due to compounded bills with little to no income for the past six months.
The Association said it made numerous attempts, both written and phone calls, to the Ministry of Finance trying to obtain a meeting but to no avail.
It also made several recommendations for the 2021 National Budget to both the Finance Minister (Colm Imbert) and the Permanent Secretary, showing clearly where and how to increase compliance, generate revenue, and create employment from the bar industry.
But, it seems to have fallen on deaf ears.
“The government seems to be not interested in the existing revenue that this sector generates for the Trinidad & Tobago economy which is over $1 billion annually.”
“Whilst the Association is pleased with some of the measures to be implemented, the government once again failed to address the issue of the illegal sale of alcohol and illegal gambling both of which affect much-needed government revenue.”
The Association said this also places an additional burden on the businesses that operate legally.
The Association is once again calling on the Minister of Finance to listen to its recommendations and schedule a meeting so that the industry can move forward in Trinidad and Tobago.