Treasury written question – answered on 19th September 2018.

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Photo of Lord Kennedy of Southwark Lord Kennedy of Southwark Opposition Whip (Lords), Shadow Spokesperson (Home Affairs), Shadow Spokesperson (Communities and Local Government), Shadow Spokesperson (Housing)

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps they are taking to increase the number of co-operative companies and institutes in the UK.

Photo of Lord Bates Lord Bates The Minister of State, Department for International Development

This Government recognises the value of co-operatives and other mutually owned businesses. The Government’s policy is to maintain a level playing field between co-operatives and other legal forms.

In 2014, the coalition government introduced a number of measures to support the co-operative sector, including consolidating all the existing laws, to make it easier for societies to understand and apply the legislative framework and the rules governing them. The coalition government also simplified the electronic registration process to help new societies start up.

In February 2018 the Government brought forward a measure to bring audit requirements for small co-operatives into line with those for small companies. This measure came into force on 6 April, and will save growing societies thousands of pounds in auditors’ fees that companies of the same size do not have to pay.

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