Hope for jobs through sports clubs
Loan guarantees for sport and community clubs will help generate jobs, the minister in charge of the portfolio said this morning.
Zane DeSilva, Minister of Social Development and Sport, used a press conference to discuss four areas outlined within the Throne Speech.
Reiterating a sentiment from the speech, Mr DeSilva said that the Government’s financial influence could be used to assist sport and community clubs to become self-sufficient through loan guarantees.
“We believe that the community as a whole will benefit from this initiative through the creation of jobs, and possibly even new entrepreneurships,” he said.
“I must stress that what the Government intends to do is to provide a loan guarantee, not a loan itself.
“Government is not a lending institution.”
A preliminary meeting was held earlier this month in Warwick with several clubs.
How much money would be made available had not yet been determined, Mr DeSilva said.
He added: “There will likely be a cap on the size of all loans of which Government will issue a guarantee.”
The Minister also discussed the need for financial assistance reform, which is currently costing Government roughly $1 million a week.
“Unfortunately, over time there has developed an overreliance — and some many even say a culture of entitlement — among too many of those who receive financial assistance,” he said.
“It is well recognised that the current expenditure of over $50 million per year the Government spends on financial assistance is unsustainable.
“It can’t continue.”
The Minister also discussed amendments to the Children Act, as well as the need to produce a green paper to examine Bermuda’s drug policies during the press event.
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