Cameron to make it easier to form co-ops
By Richard Johnstone | 19 January 2012
The government plans to make it easier to create co-operatives by introducing a Bill to cut red tape.
Prime Minister David Cameron said that the
Co-operatives Bill would be put before Parliament ahead of the next election
His announcement follows government moves to encourage
public sector staff to set up employee-owned mutuals, as part of its public service
The new legislation would consolidate the 17 separate pieces of law that
currently regulate the companies, which are now to be reviewed by the Law
In a speech today, Cameron said: ‘We know that breaking monopolies,
encouraging choice, opening up new forms of enterprise is not just right for
business but the best way of improving public services too.
‘But right now there are too many barriers in the way. So today I can
announce they will all be brought together and simplified in a new Co-operatives
Bill that will be put before Parliament.’
His comments follow Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg’s call
earlier this week for more employee ownership of companies, as part of a more responsible
form of capitalism.
The trade body for the sector, Co-operatives UK, welcomed the move.
Secretary general Ed Mayo said that it would ‘make it as easy and
natural to form a co-operative as any other form of business’.
He added: ‘We are delighted to see the coalition taking action to put
co-operative businesses on an equal footing and create a diverse economy.
‘Co-operatives, as well as being widely recognised for their ethical
business practices, are a vital part of the British economy, employing more
than 235,000 people, turning over more than £33bn each year and generating a
significant amount of wealth for the country.’
The group says
businesses are currently outperforming the UK economy and have grown by 20% since
the start of the credit crunch. The consolidation of the legislation will
create a more equal playing field for them by creating clarity and reducing