Home > Uncategorized > Surrey County Council will continue to invest in tobacco companies | This is Surrey

Surrey County Council will continue to invest in tobacco companies | This is Surrey

Surrey County Council will continue to invest in tobacco companies | This is Surrey.

Surrey has decided to continue with tobacco investments.  The report is in the public domain here on the SCC  website and is fairly typical of those reports I have seen in the public domain. What do I mean by this?  Well,

  1. It fails to mention, let alone consider in any depth the requirements of the Framework Convention on Tobacco Control, and does not mention at all the Guideline to Compliance which states that councils should not invest in tobacco companies.
  2. It repeats hoary old chestnuts, such as where do you draw the line, trotting out the whole tobacco supply chain such as major retailers, and suppliers of services to tobacco companies, as well as the slippery slope argument re alcohol, gambling.
  3. Fails to mention that funds in many other jurisdictions with similar fiduciary duties have divested from tobacco companies.
  4. Fails to seek the views of the Director of Public Health, even though the report has been produced precisely because public health has transferred to the council.

The pension fund committee may well have reached this decision even if it had been given a more rounded picture, but the public health case for divestment was barely made.  Surely Councils must consult their Director of Public Health in future when considering this issue, and committees be at least  made aware of UK obligations under the FCTC.  Otherwise these committees are taking decisions without a full picture which potentially leaves them open to challenge.

 

 

 

 

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