18 Oct 2012

Tax hikes stymied Europe's recovery - fund manager

1:27 pm on 18 October 2012

A British based fund manager is critical of Europe's leaders for putting up taxes in response to the debt crisis, saying it has stymied a recovery.

Bankers Investment Trust is listed on New Zealand's stock exchange and offers investors exposure to listed firms overseas, but is managed by London based Henderson Global Investors.

Alex Crooke runs the trust, and says firms paying dividends in sectors such as food, reinsurance and engineering, are attractive, compared to other asset classes like bonds, where returns are low.

In terms of the sluggish global recovery since the 2008 financial crisis, Mr Crooke says Europe's attempts to cut its debt mountain by raising taxes has curbed spending at the time it's most needed.

He says the economy in the US has recovered as expected and it's now bigger than it was in 2007.

Mr Crooke says it's disappointing that in Europe governments put tax rates up, which has killed all growth, whereas in the US taxes were not raised.

"I think it's a much better a model of saying let's establish some growth and then you can tax the growth.

"I think people are much happier if they are moving forward and earning more".

Mr Crooke says there are some policy implementations that in hindsight were too aggressive.