The leaders of Scotland’s main political parties have been asked to implement a new co-operative approach in the next Scottish Parliament session to protect and create jobs threatened by the pandemic, and contribute to increased prosperity and fairness.
Co-operatives UK has set out a detailed four-point plan to support and develop the movement in our paper A new co-operative approach in Scotland.
The plan proposes that the government funds four new national programmes designed to kickstart the co-operative economy and put it in the driving seat of the Scottish economy once the coronavirus pandemic ends.
Four key national programmes
Co-ops are worth £38.2 billion each year to the UK economy. In Scotland, 564 co-ops have a combined turnover of over £1.5 billion. If adopted by the Scottish government, the co-op economy could grow further through four key programmes:
- An entrepreneurs’ scheme aimed at establishing new worker co-ops;
- A job recovery scheme designed to protect the livelihoods of workers threatened by business sale, restructuring or closure;
- More support for housing co-operatives to help local communities develop more affordable housing;
- A boost for community funding via a scheme aimed at making institutional investment in local assets easier.
“Co-operatives UK has set out a four point plan for a new co-operative approach in Scotland and I am pleased to have written today to all the main party leaders encouraging them to look closely at these proposals and integrate them into their own plans for governing after the Scottish Parliament elections in May." She continues.
“We want to encourage co-operative entrepreneurs, offer workers greater job security, develop more co-operative housing solutions and encourage the Scottish Government and other institutions to invest in community owned co-ops when opportunities arise.
“I am looking forward to discussing these proposals further with MSPs and others at the Co-operatives Cross Party Group meeting on 1 March and with party leaders and those drafting party manifestos as their preparations for the election intensifies. I urge everyone to look closely at what the parties are saying and support a more co-operative approach in Scotland as the best way to build back better from Covid-19.”