“It is unfortunate that the OBA representative for Constituency 2, whose silence on the crucial issues of Bermudian jobs and opportunities has been deafening, would choose to speak now only to attack an initiative intended to benefit our youth,” Shadow Minister of Community, Youth & Sports Development Michael Weeks said.
PLP Suggest Lottery For Sports Funding, Minister Says ‘Idea Is Misguided’
Mr Weeks recently said, “The PLP believes that athletics can unlock the doors to many opportunities and our message to our athletes is to keep striving. To encourage young athletes along the way, the next PLP government will implement our Vision 2025 plan to create a local lottery to benefit sports development on the island.
“This lottery dedicated to sports funding will be implemented within the first two years of a Progressive Labour Party government term to provide greater opportunities for advancement for both current and potential competitors.“
In response, Minister Outerbridge said, “Of concern is the Opposition’s suggestion that a lottery be established to support our athletes. This idea is misguided for several reasons.
“The idea of a national lottery has been explored by the Government and the cons far outweigh the pros. A lottery is widely accepted as a tax on the poor in that people less able to afford tickets will buy them in the false hope that they will win against incredible odds.
“In addition, with a population as small as Bermuda’s, the costs of establishing, regulating and running a lottery would leave a limited pool to be paid out in winnings. Any money dedicated to funding sports teams would be very limited.
“The Opposition’s statement is nothing more than political posturing – putting forward a carelessly conceived idea that will have a negative impact on the Bermudians who can least afford it.
“Through the recent Cash Back for Communities programme, the OBA Government took the proceeds from crime and directed those funds towards empowering our athletes, enabling them to compete against the best in the Caribbean. By working to improve government finances and eliminate the deficit, we will be in a better position to assist our athletes in the near future.”
Michael Weeks Comments
Mr Weeks said, “It is unfortunate that the OBA representative for Constituency 2, whose silence on the crucial issues of Bermudian jobs and opportunities has been deafening, would choose to speak now only to attack an initiative intended to benefit our youth.
“Criticising a proposal designed to support those athletes who serve our country on the international stage is more of a priority for MP Outerbridge than ensuring Bermudians come first in their country.
“Where was MP Outerbridge when the OBA tried to shut down the Lamb-Foggo Urgent Care Centre?
“Where was MP Outerbridge when the OBA wanted to deprive our Bermudian children chances of summer employment opportunities, by trying to give expats’ children the right to work the same jobs?
“Where was MP Outerbridge when it became clear that the only jobs being grown in our economy are for non-Bermudians?
“Silent, hiding, doing nothing and saying nothing.
“Bermuda needs leadership that stands for Bermudians, that doesn’t view our youth as props for photo-ops and that brings forward ideas that can give hope to Bermudians.
“The PLP’s position is that we must develop innovative ways to help our youth reach their potential and help them understand that every Bermudian who has a gift should be supported and have an opportunity to succeed.
“Our lottery idea is not a panacea but is an innovative way for our people to invest in one of our most critical resources: our youth.”