Our fund managers’ most useful tool No. 5: A visitor pass
Over the past year, we personally interviewed the management of over 1,000 companies throughout the UK.
Murray Income Trust ISA and Share Plan
There’s nothing like being able to judge for yourself. For us, we won’t add a company to our portfolios without first holding a personal interview with its management. Murray Income Trust PLC is a conventional investment trust that aims to deliver steady income growth, and is available through our ISA or Share Plan. Established in 1923, the trust invests in UK companies quoted on the London Stock Exchange and aims to offer investors a growing annual income. You can invest in this trust from £100 per month or £1,000 lump sum. We offer daily dealings for lump sum investments. Do remember that the value of shares and the income from them can go down as well as up. You may not get back the amount invested. No recommendation is made, positive or otherwise, regarding the ISA and Share Plan.
The value of tax benefits depends on individual circumstances and the favourable tax treatment for ISAs may not be maintained. If you have any doubts about the suitability of any investment for your needs, please consult an independent financial adviser.
To find out more: Request a brochure: 0500 00 40 00 www.invtrusts.co.uk
Issued and approved by Aberdeen Asset Managers Limited, 10 Queen’s Terrace, Aberdeen AB10 1YG. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority in the UK. Telephone calls may be recorded.
Please quote MINC S 04 established 1828
Don’t knock the rich
We appreciate that Nick Clegg and Vince Cable had a gallery to play to during their party’s conference —agallery of left-leaning Liberal Democrats baying for attacks on the wealthy. The two ministers are in an awkward position, having joined a government that is attempting the first real cuts in government spending since the war.But denouncing capitalism and growling at the rich is no way for those now in power to conduct themselves.
We have become accustomed to ignoring what the Lib Dems say at their conferences. Until now, it didn’t matter. But Mr Cable is now Business Secretary, and when he says that capitalism ‘takes no prisoners and kills competition when it can’, it is worth listening. He might claim to be quoting Adam Smith, but he knows what message such language sends out. It seems utterly at odds with George Osborne’s claim that Britain is ‘open for business’. A foreign company considering a move to Britain would see a Business Secretary claiming that bankers are a greater threat to the economy than trade unions — and stay away.
The Deputy Prime Minister, for his part, talks about the rich as if they were a blight.‘We all agree that it’s wrong when people help themselves to benefits they shouldn’t get,’ said Mr Clegg in his conference speech. ‘But when the richest people in the country dodge their tax bills that is just as bad.’ We do not hear from him a distinction between tax evasion, which is against the law, and tax avoidance, which ought to be practised by anyone with a good accountant. Does he really see a moral equivalence between keeping money earned and fraudulently claiming what someone else has earned?
It would be reassuring to think that Mr Clegg and Mr Cable were simply letting off steam. But their words were sanctioned by Downing Street. Mr Clegg’s inability to distinguish between tax efficiency and welfare fraud suggests a tendency to think that the state is entitled to all the money people earn, which is precisely the idea that has been advanced in a new ‘discussion document’ by HM Revenue and Customs. It proposes that companies should hand over people’s salaries to the government so that taxes can be deducted and the remaining amount paid by the taxman to employees.The fact that such a sinister proposal would be considered by the government is ominous.
This coalition has made remarkable progress in its first four months, but perhaps its single greatest failing has been its inability to articulate a growth strategy.As we report on page 12, the Swedish Prime Minister has just been re-elected after proving that tax cuts create jobs. He won a battle of ideas — but that battle is not being fought in Britain. Listening to what passes for economic discussion in this country, it is as if government spending were the only source of jobs and cuts only mean redundancies. Conservatives should seek to change the terms of debate, rather than letting themselves be trapped within the limited ideological framework they inherited from Labour.
Ideas matter. So do bad ideas. Next time a leading Lib Dem talks about the rich as if they pay no tax, a Tory minister should remind them that the richest 1 per cent contribute 24 per cent of all income tax collected. Next time Mr Cable sends a speech to No. 10 bashing capitalism, he should be advised to save his tub-thumping for his next book. Britain desperately needs to attract businesses and encourage entrepreneurs.With the largest deficit in Europe, ministers should be welcoming — rather than squaring up to — wealth creators. Messrs Clegg and Cable would do well to remember that.
It should be an honour to host the commonwealth Games.We hoped that India would use the event to show the world that it is not just an emerging superpower with nuclear weapons and a space programme, but a country with a sense of pride — as China did with the Beijing Olympics. Instead, India has given a good impression of a country that views the Commonwealth as an embarrassment. Advance parties from England, Scotland, Australia and Canada arrived to find squalid and even incomplete accommodation. There
Blame Games were reports of walls bubbling with mould and floors covered with pools of stagnant water.The site is so structurally unsound that one of the footbridges collapsed.
Why haven’t the Indian authorities admitted the gravity of their mistakes? They blame an aggressive monsoon season rather than poor planning or a lack of attention to detail. The local press refers to the ‘Con Games’, and the cost is deeply resented.
As anyone who has visited the country will know, Indians are hospitable by nature. But there is no excuse for treating the Commonwealth athletes in such a shoddy fashion. The Canadians, who lost out to India in the bid to stage these games,have every reason to feel aggrieved.
The significance of India’s failure stretches beyond sport. The Commonwealth is an important forum for international diplomacy, trade and innovation. Regardless of whether India shares this view, the Games attract interest from across the world — even from its trading partners. And what the world is seeing now is not impressive.
the spectator | 25 September 2010 | www.spectator.co.uk