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Economy Economy

Create sovereign wealth funds

Last updated: 10:59am 25 September 2019

We will create a number of [UK sovereign wealth] funds, known as Future Britain funds, which will hold in trust the investments of the British people, backing British infrastructure and the British economy.

Conservative Party Manifesto 2017, p.20

Our verdict

A sovereign wealth fund is a way for governments to make investments using money from raw materials or agricultural products they tax or own, or from other financial investments and schemes. The money made from these investments can then be used in that country’s social and economic interest. This policy is a promise to create “a number” of such funds, which will be called “Future Britain funds”.

For example, Norway uses profits from its crude oil industry and invests them so the country can continue to have wealth when it runs out of oil. Japan has a sovereign fund that aims to support its ageing population’s pension funds.

To date there is no mention from any official government channel on the creation of a sovereign fund under the name “Future Britain” or any other name. However, at least one MP and other observers are still calling for their creation.

In terms of potential sources of funding, no official announcements have been made either. The shale oil industry faces opposition and may not be able to provide the anticipated funding.  Progress has been made on the Dormant Accounts Scheme, but no announcements on spending the funds raised from it have mentioned a sovereign wealth fund.

Given the lack of announcements or indications of resources to launch a sovereign wealth fund, it is our verdict that this policy is ‘not started’. We’ll keep tracking to see if anything develops, so follow this policy for updates.

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