Sir Mark Hendrick, the Labour/Co-op MP for Preston, has today introduced a private members’ bill to update part of the law on co-operative businesses.
If passed, his Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill would address problems with the types share capital issued by co-operatives; make provision about the taxation of mutual insurers and friendly societies which issue deferred shares; permit the capital surplus of co-ops, mutuals and friendly societies to be non-distributable; and amend the Friendly Societies Act 1992.
Sir Mark was one of 20 MPs selected from last month’s ballot to present a bill. It is rare for such bills to become law but because he was drawn fourth on the ballot Sir Mark will get more parliamentary time, increasing his chances.
He said: “The new Co-operatives, Mutuals and Friendly Societies Bill looks at how to make it easier for co-operatives to get more investment whilst retaining their democratic structures, ensuring they work in the interest and are owned by their members."