Tuesday, 19 August 2003

What is ethical?

The Social Market Foundation is concerned about the matter of "Ethical" Investing:
The Social Market Foundation said that although Scots have good intentions they do not have the information to make proper judgements.

The research showed that 86% of Scots consumers prefer to purchase goods and services from companies that are socially and environmentally responsible.

Scots are also most enthusiastic about new government regulation (40%) and have the highest expectations of business to improve its labelling (76%).

They also supported tax breaks for firms who make the grade and those that do not should be named and shamed, survey respondents said.

But what is ethical and who decides? The idea of "tax breaks" for so-called ethical investments fills me with horror. Such intervention would merely reflect the current hobbyhorses of the politically correct members of the great and the good. If there is going to any "naming and shaming" let's get ready for a consumer boycott of any company that helps the government introduce ID cards.