Future Fund Invests in Tobacco

Hypocrisy reigns. The Australian Government is bringing in extremely tough smoking laws, yet investment in tobacco companies is seen to be alright.

In 2006 the then Coalition Government set up a future fund. Its goals were to fund future costs of pensions for public servants, judges and so on. A look at the books as shown that the fund's managers deem holding shares in 14 tobacco companies to be a good thing. They obviously don't think the Government's actions to ban tobacco firms from putting their name on cigarette packets will lead to a fall in profit nor affect secure future operations.

Tobacco investment is only 0.5 per cent of total investment. However, it is unethical and it goes against Government policy. While making the highest return is written into fund guidelines, the body is supposed to be monitored by the Treasurer. There seems to be a difference of opinion between the Prime Minister and Treasurer. The Prime Minister fully supports the name and logo ban initiative, but the Treasurer said, "...the Future Fund takes its investment decisions at arms length of the government."
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