Bexley may be bonkers...

....but they have good financial sense.


Bexley Council's pension fund invests £15m in tobacco firms
BEXLEY Council has been branded "contradictory" for investing more than £15m in tobacco firms despite the habit costing the borough more than £50m a year.
Really? And who says it costs the borough more than £50m a year? Oh, I should have guessed.
Stats from the charity Action on Smoking and Health (ASH) suggest the dirty habit is costing Bexley £52.8m a year through factors such as NHS care (£10.4m), smoking breaks (£11.1m) and domestic fires (£1.9m).
Let's take a look at those figures:

NHS care (£10.4m): Offset by a factor of ten from tobacco taxes
Smoking breaks (£11.1m): Erm, most smokers smoke on designated breaks that everyone gets. Besides, that's a matter between employer and employee, not a cost. If an employer is ok with employees nipping out for a ciggy, what business is that of anyone elses?
and domestic fires (£1.9m): Maybe. But that's more related to carelessness than smoking.

Are there any other figures?
The figures appear yet more worrying when Bexley Care Trust is desperately fighting to persuade smokers to kick the habit through its stop-smoking services which cost £262,000 to run.
Ahh. A saving to be made there then?
The charity's director of research and policy Martin Dockrell added: "Pension fund managers would have us believe they have no choice, but there is no legal obligation to invest in tobacco companies."
No. But they do have a lagal obligation to invest wisely and for the maximum return.
Research manager at ASH, Amanda Sandford, said: "With the shift to local authorities responsible for health this is a critical time for all councils to review their investments and to see if there are other anomaly areas they maybe invest in, such as the alcohol industry.
Oops! And maybe Big food, Big salt, Big high fructose corn syrup...

There will be no one left to invest in apart from Big pharma.

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