The mutual and co-operative sector is calling on the next government to back business with purpose beyond profit.

The mutual and co-operative sector is calling on the next government to back business with purpose beyond profit.

30 November 2023

Trade bodies ABCUL, AFM, BSA and Co-operatives UK have come together to publish a joint prospectus ahead of the next General Election, outlining how co-operatives and mutuals can help the next government tackle the biggest challenges: economic stagnation, inequality and insecurity, and the climate emergency.

Mutual and co-operative businesses make a significant contribution to the UK economy, with combined annual revenues of £87.9 billion, equating to 3.5% of UK GDP.

By offering a competitive alternative to shareholder-owned businesses, they are essential for the UK to build an inclusive, growing and diverse economy. They also provide greater consumer choice while delivering ‘mutual value’ to their members and wider society.

However, their different legal and regulatory frameworks prevent mutuals from competing on a level playing field with their competitors.

The mutual and co-operative sector is therefore calling on the next Government to create a meaningful covenant between mutuals and co-operatives, Government and society, based on the purpose-driven business model that delivers tangible benefits to our communities and wider society.

The joint prospectus sets out the action needed by the next Government:

  • Create an environment that places mutuals and co-operatives at the heart of economic strategy, supporting the growth of the mutual sector
  • Deliver a legislative and regulatory framework that enables mutuals and co-operatives to meet the needs of the communities they serve and compete fairly with other businesses
  • Create and preserve capital to support new and growing mutuals and co-operatives

You can read the joint prospectus here: The Purpose of Mutual and Co-operative Business in Society

A series of parliamentary events will be held across the UK in the new year to engage, face-to-face, with politicians from all parties. The aim is to build understanding of the value mutual organisations bring to the economy, and to garner support for the actions required to maintain that mutual value.

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For more information contact: Andrew Whyte, Chief Executive, AFM: [email protected] or 07703 107613

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