Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg have today been challenged to lay down their plans for growing the mutual sector.
In recent weeks there has been a flurry of speeches and statements by the parties about their support for co-operative and mutual initiatives.
Today the mutual sector has responded with its plans for putting people at the heart of business and society in the first ever Mutuals Manifesto.
The Manifesto calls for more businesses to belong to their customers, more employee owned firms and more community led public services.
The next Government should commit to:
* Ensure that mutuals receive equal treatment with plcs by:
– Establishing a Government office for mutuals with a designated Minister for Mutuals
– Committing to update mutuals legislation
* Make sure that Regulators act in a way that respects diverse forms of ownership by:
– Altering the terms of the Financial Services Authority to make it sustain a full range of business types
* Promote mutual ownership as a way of serving the public interest by:
– Evaluating the return of Northern Rock to the mutual sector
– Establishing a unit to convert public service providers to mutuals
– Supporting the Commission on Ownership
Mutuo Chief Executive, Peter Hunt, said:
“The nature of the recession has meant that fundamental questions are being asked about the way businesses are owned and how our economy is structured.
The Government must be responsible for ensuring that people have a choice about who they do business with. Mutuals exist to share the rewards of enterprise with those that earn them; there are lessons in this for how we structure business and our community more widely.
It has been good to see politicians talking about mutuals in recent news but we now need to see political parties take action to help build a stronger and more vibrant mutual sector.”