Home > Uncategorized > Pension investment in tobacco ‘reviewed’ at Suffolk County Council – News – Eastern Daily Press

Pension investment in tobacco ‘reviewed’ at Suffolk County Council – News – Eastern Daily Press

Pension investment in tobacco ‘reviewed’ at Suffolk County Council – News – Eastern Daily Press.

Suffolk is reviewing its pension fund investments in tobacco companies.  the committee chairman doesn’t seem too keen though on making any changes.  He asks:

” If you want to stop investing in tobacco where do you stop? Do you stop investing in armaments companies? In food companies? In oil companies? Then you find your options are limited and you may be unable to achieve the kind of returns you need.”

The answer to this oft posed question is actually very straightforward, and New Zealand showed the way.  The UN Framework Convention on Tobacco Control has very clear guidance that all branches of government should not invest in tobacco companies.  One of the key reasons given by the New Zealand Fund was that to continue investing in tobacco companies would not be compatible with the country’s Treaty obligations.   For the same reason they also do not invest in cluster bomb companies, as those munitions are also banned by international treaty.

So, there is not a long and slippery slope from tobacco to alcohol, food, and general armaments.  Pension fund committees should simply instruct their fund managers not to invest in companies that are incompatible with UK international treaty obligations.

It is also worth repeating that tobacco is the only consumer product that when used as intended by the manufacturer kills half its long term users.  It is a unique product category, killing 1116 Suffolk residents each year.

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