The Government’s move to repeal the Trade Licensing Act, to expand the list of working professionals who need a trade license to operate, has sparked outrage among several sectors across the country. The decision was announced during today’s sitting of the House of Representatives and is set to affect numerous professionals classed as entertainers. According to the bill, an “entertainer” is any person who performs any activity for profit. This includes acrobats, circus performers, dancers, singers, musicians, comedians, and disc jockeys. The bill will now require that these professionals pay license fees to perform or operate. In the instance of disc-jockeys (djs) operating in town or cities, they will have to pay a maximum of two hundred dollars per day. A fee that Laron Avilez and Terrance Nunez, two local disc jockeys, say will cut deep into their pockets.
And, those in the music industry aren’t the only ones that will be required to pay trade license fees as a result of this new bill. Persons classified as E-Business Operators, who use the internet to buy, sell or trade any good, will be required to pay a maximum fee of $600 per year. Jordan McLaughlin, who uses Facebook to sell clothing, says this change will negatively impact her family’s business.
The changes entailed in the bill once passed will take effect on January 1, 2023. Francisco Alcoser, the Manager of Super Furia Band, says that despite having time to prepare for the changes, he does not believe that any musician will support having to pay to perform.
According to the bill, any person who commits an offence under the new changes shall not be entitled to obtain license to trade for two years from the date of conviction.