According to a recent Guardian investigation, more than half a billion pounds of council workers’ pension money has been directly invested by UK local authorities in arms companies that sell defence equipment or training to Saudi Arabia. Of the local authorities they have information on, Edinburgh’s Lothian holds both the highest amount of investments in arms companies selling weapons to Saudi, at £85.2million, as well as having the highest percentage of their investments in these companies, at 1.10%. Glasgow’s Strathclyde comes in in 10th place, with £18.8 million (0.1%).
Companies being invested in include BAE Systems, Airbus, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon and Northrop Grumman, according to nearly 100 freedom of information requests submitted by The Guardian.
“These aren’t just numbers on a spreadsheet; the weapons these companies are producing have had a devastating impact,” said Andrew Smith from CAAT. “The fighter jets and bombs that are being used in Yemen have played a crucial role in creating the worst humanitarian crisis in the world. Councils should not be profiteering from the companies that have made these weapons and have been so complicit in the destruction.”