Het is ongelooflijk, maar waar: de ministers die verantwoordelijk zijn voor de invoering van het Schotse rookverbod hebben hun pensioenen lopen bij een organisatie die £126 miljoen heeft belegd in ‘s werelds grootste tabaksconcern, Altria (Philip Morris). En het is geen slechte keus: de aandelen van Altria stegen de laatste vijf jaar met 230%!
Maar het is wel ontzettend hypocriet!
MINISTERS responsible for introducing Scotland’s smoking ban have been accused of hypocrisy after it emerged they are paying into a pension firm that has £126m invested in the world’s biggest cigarette company.
Jack McConnell, the first minister, and Andy Kerr, the health minister, can expect a lucrative payout from investment firm Baillie Gifford, which owns 3m shares in US-based Altria, makers of Marlboro cigarettes.
The value of Altria shares has risen by 230% in the past five years. Parliament officials believe the £10m pension fund the firm runs for all Scottish ministers and MSPs is directly invested in tobacco firms.
McConnell is also expected to benefit from a Labour party pension from his time as Scottish general secretary.
The Sunday Times has learnt that the £31m pension scheme for party officials is run by UBS Global Asset Management, which has a £281m shareholding in Altria, which produces more than 25 brands of cigarettes.
Since 1997, when Labour came to power, UBS has invested fundholders’ money in five of the world’s biggest tobacco firms, including BAT, Imperial Tobacco and Seita.
Three months ago, the company sponsored a conference run by Imperial Tobacco, the makers of Embassy cigarettes which claimed the Scottish smoking ban was unnecessary and that most people would prefer limited restrictions.