Bolton Council passes anti-smoking motion - despite investing £55 million per year in tobacco companies

The Bolton News: Bolton Council passes anti-smoking motion - despite investing £55 million per year in tobacco companies Bolton Council passes anti-smoking motion - despite investing £55 million per year in tobacco companies

AN anti-smoking motion has been passed by Bolton Council, in spite of its pension scheme investing at least £55 million last year in tobacco companies.

Cllr Sufrana Bashir-Ismail put forward a motion calling on the council to step up its work to reduce the number of people taking up smoking, and develop plans with partners to address the causes and impacts of tobacco use.

The motion, which was passed, also said Bolton Council should protect its tobacco control work from the ‘commercial and vested interests’ of the industry.

But during the debate, Cllr Martyn Cox raised the fact that the authority is signed up to the Greater Manchester Pension Fund.

The scheme, which all Greater Manchester councils are members of, has investments in tobacco companies – including £20.3 million in Japan Tobacco and £22.8 million in Marlboro producers Philip Morris.

Cllr Cox said that, while he supported the vast majority of the motion, passing it without an amendment about commercial interests “would make us look a bit foolish.”

Speaking after the debate he added: “The Conservative group was broadly supportive of the motion but found it hard to reconcile having a strong stance against the vested interests of tobacco when the council is one of those most ‘interested’.

“The council should either disinvest from those companies or choose its words more carefully.”


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Cllr Bashir-Ismail accused the Conservative group of ‘playing politics’ with her motion.

She added: “I am very aware that the tobacco industry employs a lot of people in this country, and the pension fund is committed to and has a responsibility to provide the best return for its members.

“Meanwhile we have to deter people from smoking and protect out residents.”

Comments (11)

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10:08am Mon 16 Dec 13

oftbewildered2 says...

It is unfortunate that the GMPF invests in tobacco companies - this is not Bolton Council's fault and should be looked at as a separate issue from the anti-smoking campaign.
It is unfortunate that the GMPF invests in tobacco companies - this is not Bolton Council's fault and should be looked at as a separate issue from the anti-smoking campaign. oftbewildered2

12:13pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Beyond News Forum says...

You couldn't make it up.

Despite the craziness of the story, I have to question tax money being used to invest in Tobacco companies, this is the same as paying for the bullets that kill people in wars that we the people want no part of.

I am pretty **** sure there are much better investments such as fresh orange and such...
You couldn't make it up. Despite the craziness of the story, I have to question tax money being used to invest in Tobacco companies, this is the same as paying for the bullets that kill people in wars that we the people want no part of. I am pretty **** sure there are much better investments such as fresh orange and such... Beyond News Forum

1:09pm Mon 16 Dec 13

steveG says...

The world is a pretty evil place and,unfortunately, many organisations,Bolton Council included, feel they need to present their ethical face to the electorate whilst making as much money as possible by fair means or foul.
The world is a pretty evil place and,unfortunately, many organisations,Bolton Council included, feel they need to present their ethical face to the electorate whilst making as much money as possible by fair means or foul. steveG

1:18pm Mon 16 Dec 13

boltonnut says...

Unfortunately politicians have no morals,even less commitment.they are all tarred with the same brush,anybody got any feathers?
Unfortunately politicians have no morals,even less commitment.they are all tarred with the same brush,anybody got any feathers? boltonnut

1:22pm Mon 16 Dec 13

cliff4treasurer says...

It's the only route to any power over other people most of them can traverse and the labour ones are the worst of all.
It's the only route to any power over other people most of them can traverse and the labour ones are the worst of all. cliff4treasurer

1:59pm Mon 16 Dec 13

The Righteous One says...

Lets face the truth here - GMPF will have advised a broker to look after their pension schsmes - and there will be more than 1. The Broker will then get the best return for their customer by hedging with various companies rather than relying on one - best policy in any event. It is just the same system as any other pension scheme - and yes that also means private company pensions and even personal pensions.
Lets face the truth here - GMPF will have advised a broker to look after their pension schsmes - and there will be more than 1. The Broker will then get the best return for their customer by hedging with various companies rather than relying on one - best policy in any event. It is just the same system as any other pension scheme - and yes that also means private company pensions and even personal pensions. The Righteous One

6:06pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Mick England says...

Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.
Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock. Mick England

7:05pm Mon 16 Dec 13

BWFC71 says...

Mick England wrote:
Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.
Why is it hypocrisy?

Do you know where your pension fund is being placed to make a decent return?

I know I don't know about all of mine. My personal one is done through Virgin Finance and I know they use Blackrock, Newton and Baillie Gifford as brokers to finance the funds and gain greater returns. But as to where they place the money I don't know as it continually changes year on year all dependent upon the success of the companies they help to finance and hold shares in.
[quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.[/p][/quote]Why is it hypocrisy? Do you know where your pension fund is being placed to make a decent return? I know I don't know about all of mine. My personal one is done through Virgin Finance and I know they use Blackrock, Newton and Baillie Gifford as brokers to finance the funds and gain greater returns. But as to where they place the money I don't know as it continually changes year on year all dependent upon the success of the companies they help to finance and hold shares in. BWFC71

8:20pm Mon 16 Dec 13

steveG says...

BWFC71 wrote:
Mick England wrote: Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.
Why is it hypocrisy? Do you know where your pension fund is being placed to make a decent return? I know I don't know about all of mine. My personal one is done through Virgin Finance and I know they use Blackrock, Newton and Baillie Gifford as brokers to finance the funds and gain greater returns. But as to where they place the money I don't know as it continually changes year on year all dependent upon the success of the companies they help to finance and hold shares in.
I think I see where you're going with this.

Because you don't know where your pension money is invested then you dont see why large organisations should know?.
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.[/p][/quote]Why is it hypocrisy? Do you know where your pension fund is being placed to make a decent return? I know I don't know about all of mine. My personal one is done through Virgin Finance and I know they use Blackrock, Newton and Baillie Gifford as brokers to finance the funds and gain greater returns. But as to where they place the money I don't know as it continually changes year on year all dependent upon the success of the companies they help to finance and hold shares in.[/p][/quote]I think I see where you're going with this. Because you don't know where your pension money is invested then you dont see why large organisations should know?. steveG

11:57pm Mon 16 Dec 13

Donkey Stone says...

BWFC71 wrote:
Mick England wrote:
Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.
Why is it hypocrisy?

Do you know where your pension fund is being placed to make a decent return?

I know I don't know about all of mine. My personal one is done through Virgin Finance and I know they use Blackrock, Newton and Baillie Gifford as brokers to finance the funds and gain greater returns. But as to where they place the money I don't know as it continually changes year on year all dependent upon the success of the companies they help to finance and hold shares in.
It's hypocrisy because the council do know.
[quote][p][bold]BWFC71[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Mick England[/bold] wrote: Jesus if this doesn't show the hypocrisy of the powers that be, nothing does! They have more faces than the town hall clock.[/p][/quote]Why is it hypocrisy? Do you know where your pension fund is being placed to make a decent return? I know I don't know about all of mine. My personal one is done through Virgin Finance and I know they use Blackrock, Newton and Baillie Gifford as brokers to finance the funds and gain greater returns. But as to where they place the money I don't know as it continually changes year on year all dependent upon the success of the companies they help to finance and hold shares in.[/p][/quote]It's hypocrisy because the council do know. Donkey Stone

11:05am Tue 17 Dec 13

berushka says...

Another case of people with a bit of power trying to dictate what people should do with their money and their lives. If you want to smoke, what as it got to do with anyone else? It is a well-noted fact that no Government nor Council can sever their ties with the tobacco industry, because the revenue generated forms a large percentage of the country's income. Without this income, Great Britain would be in deep financial embarrassment, almost as bad as it was when the Labour Government were kicked out of office.
Another case of people with a bit of power trying to dictate what people should do with their money and their lives. If you want to smoke, what as it got to do with anyone else? It is a well-noted fact that no Government nor Council can sever their ties with the tobacco industry, because the revenue generated forms a large percentage of the country's income. Without this income, Great Britain would be in deep financial embarrassment, almost as bad as it was when the Labour Government were kicked out of office. berushka

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