In her inaugural speech the Prime Minster vowed to address the sense of discontent and division that led many people to vote to leave the European Union. Her government, she said, would focus on creating an ‘inclusive economy’, one that ‘works for everyone, not just the privileged few.’
So far the substance has been underwhelming, in part because the Prime Minister has not started with what already works.
As co-ops we have a bold and pragmatic vision for what a genuinely inclusive economy would actually look like. It’s one where people share ownership, decision-making and wealth through businesses built on the powerful combination of pragmatism and solidarity. It’s an inclusivity powered by co-operation.
Social Value Procurement
The UK government is consulting on how it should take account of social value in the award of central government contracts. We are gathering the views of members to develop a co-op specific response.
Civil Society Strategy
The Department for Digital Culture Media and Sport (DCMS) has published its Civil Society Strategy, setting out how the Westminster government intends to nurture, support and work with civil society in England. There are some positive trajectories for communities policy, including new place-based investment funding and better support for community ownership and Community Shares. But plans to empower communities in local political economies are underwhelming.
Worker voice consultation
As part of the it's Good Work Plan, the Department for Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) is consulting on how the Information and Consultation of Employees (ICE) regulations could be improved and what other policies could enhance working engagement and voice in businesses. We believe this is an opportunity under the Good Work agenda to advocate for policy to supports worker ownership.
The Ownership Effect Inquiry (Employee Ownership Association)
In July 2017 we made a submission to the 'Ownership Effect Inquiry', conducted by the Employee Ownership Association and partners, from a co-operative perspective.
Taylor Review of Employment
Read our analysis of the final report the Review made to Government and our next steps here.
In October 2016 the Prime Minister invited Matthew Taylor (RSA) to conduct an independent review of employment practices in the modern economy. This looks at a range of issues including the rise of precarious employment and the so called 'gig economy'. Co-operatives UK has made a submission to the review focusing on co-operative approaches to work and how these can be promoted and supported.
There is a lot to admire in government's Industrial Strategy Green Paper. But what's missing is an alignment with the Inclusive Economy agenda. If government's new approach is going to work for everyone, we need a set of priorities under an Industrial Strategy that will allow the British people to acquire a bigger stake in our economy in terms of opportunity, influence and, of course, ownership. In our response to the Green Paper we've suggested how to align the Industrial Strategy with our own emergent National Co-operative Development Strategy in a simple, low cost way.
Budget 2017: How to broaden ownership in an inclusive economy
Find out more about our calls for government stop awarding £220 million a year in tax breaks to just 40,000 executive shareholders, and invest the savings in real worker ownership.
Corporate Governance Reform
Corporate Governance Reform was presented as a flagship part of the inclusive economy agenda. We were disappointed to see the government’s ambitions somewhat diminished in its final policy choices. Government needs to be both smarter and bolder in this agenda, by learning from and supporting co-ops.
Inclusive economy, six months on
The first six months of the Prime Minister's inclusive economy agenda were underwhelming, partly because the government has not started with what we already have: thousands of co-ops.