UK: The contribution of cooperative and mutual societies to the economy and public life
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Reflection on the debate of the Backbench Business Committee, 14 Dec: the contribution of cooperatives and mutuals to the economy and to public life.
Anyone looking for passionate and positive support for co-operatives and mutuals need look no further than the Backbench Committee debate which took place on Tuesday 14 December at Westminster Hall.
MPs from across the country and from all parties advocated for co-operatives, highlighting their resilience, the importance of their founding principles and the transformative role co-operatives could play in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic and in the ramping up strategy.
In his introduction to the debate, Mr. Steve Baker, MP, said that “co-operatives can be harnessed as tools to more equitably develop opportunities, wealth, freedom, pride and aspirations in the UK, at the both geographically and socially. and the implementation of the UK’s new net zero strategy. “
Later in the debate, MP Sir Mark Hendrick agreed that “co-operatives and mutuals contribute significantly to social inclusion, job creation, job sustainability and reduction of unemployment. poverty, making it a serious player in the UK’s recovery from the pandemic “.
Individual MPs took the opportunity to celebrate the important work of local cooperatives for them and their communities, from rural agricultural cooperatives to urban regeneration programs.
Speakers reflected on the legislative and financial barriers preventing the growth of the cooperative movement in the UK and several potential solutions were put forward, including a UK equivalent of the Marcora law in Italy, the creation of a cooperative development agency and changes lending rules to allow easier financing of cooperatives.
A brief prepared by Co-operatives UK was also presented which made a number of suggestions to the government with the aim of increasing the number of co-operatives. The dossier covers three themes: having business support and business financing better suited for existing cooperatives, cooperative entrepreneurs and the conversion of existing businesses into cooperatives; have legislative and non-legislative actions to provide a more favorable business environment, through laws, regulations and processes; and to have tax support for investment in cooperatives and cooperative development.
Many speakers made it clear that they would continue to campaign for progress within the cooperative sector and expect further debate and proposals for reform.
Wrigleys has a long history of working with cooperative clients and many of the ambitions, themes and issues raised in this debate have been recognized and resonated within the team.
The full transcript of the debate is available here: https://hansard.parliament.uk/commons/2021-12-14/debates/99C173B7-8598-417E-A868-28B2913B9AD8/Co-OperativesAndMutualSocieties
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