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Co-operative and Mutual Businesses: Tax Contribution

Treasury – in the House of Commons on 11th February 2020.

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Photo of Jim McMahon Jim McMahon Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Devolution)

What recent assessment his Department has made of the contribution to the public purse of tax paid by co-operative and mutual businesses.

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I recognise the positive impact that co-operatives and mutuals have across all sectors of the economy, including retail, agriculture and financial services. No assessment has been made of the amount of tax paid by co-operative and mutual businesses, but I note that the report last year from the all-party group for mutuals found that mutuals generate over £130 billion to benefit the wider economy each year.

Photo of Jim McMahon Jim McMahon Shadow Minister (Housing, Communities and Local Government) (Devolution)

It is a matter of fact that the three largest co-ops in this country pay more tax than Facebook, Amazon and Caffé Nero combined, so not only are they creating jobs; they are also paying fairly into the Exchequer. Will the Minister meet me and representatives from the co-op and mutuals sector to discuss that part of the economy and make sure that Britain can thrive in an inclusive way?

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

Yes, I will. There are 7,000 co-ops across the United Kingdom, employing nearly a quarter of a million people. I have had numerous meetings over the past two years with representatives of co-ops and mutuals, and we had a mutuals workshop last July. I am very happy to meet the hon. Gentleman to discuss the recent Manchester mutuals report and to see what we can do together.

Photo of Mike Wood Mike Wood Conservative, Dudley South

Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker—[Interruption.] I am sorry, Mr Speaker—it has been so long!

Perhaps I should declare an interest as a member of the Midcounties co-operative. Will my hon. Friend consider broadening the eligibility for social investment tax relief so that more mutuals and social enterprises can deliver excellent services and outstanding social value?

Photo of John Glen John Glen Minister of State (Treasury) (City), The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

I always listen very carefully to what my hon. Friend says. I think the best way forward would be for me to meet him to discuss his specific proposals and see what can be done.