10 co-operative proposals for 2017 electoral manifestos
1. Worker Co-operatives
New measures are to be introduced to encourage government employees at all levels to setup worker co-operatives. Employees will have the opportunity of advancing in their career while becoming owners of their own workplace. This measure would be an alternative measure to the current privatization model of government operations.
New measures are also to be introduced to assist and encourage employees to setup worker co-operatives in the private sector, in cases when employers decide to abandon their operations in Malta. Employees will be given the opportunity and the possibility to take-over their place of work from their employer through a worker co-operative, in schemes know as employee buy-out.
2. The Central Co-operative Fund
It shall be ensured that the Central Co-operative Fund finances the co-operative federations in a proportionate and equitable manner, distributing its funds to the federations according to the contributions their co-operative member societies pass on to the Fund.
3. Co-operative Banks
Legislative measures shall be taken to ensure that co-operative banks may be finally established in Malta.
4. From Five to Three
Legislative measures shall be taken to ensure that Malta follows on the footsteps of several industrially developed countries that have recognized the benefits of reducing the minimum number of members who may form a co-operative society from five members to three members.
5. Social Co-operative Enterprises
A Social Enterprise Act shall be enacted ensuring that co-operative social enterprises will have an equal status in all aspects as any other social enterprise.
6. A New Co-operative Societies Act
The consultation process on the changes to the co-operative legislation launched years ago shall be concluded within one year and the proposed Bill shall be placed for discussion in Parliament immediately thereafter.
7. Housing Co-operatives
To respond to the disproportionately high housing and rental costs, co-operative housing schemes shall be encouraged, such that every family may have a chance to access modest housing.
8. Fiscal Incentives for Co-operatives
To ensure that the co-operatives are treated fairly and on a level playing field with other business structures, tax credits for businesses not accessible to co-operative societies, shall be converted into cash grants for co-operatives.
9. Abolishing Legislative Discrimination against Co-operatives
In order to ensure a level playing field for co-operative societies when compared to other business models, a task force shall, within one year, identify all legislation that discriminates against the co-operative business model and amendments shall be proposed thereafter.
10. Co-operative representation on the MCESD
Given the social significance of the co-operative model, representatives of the co-operative federations should have a place within the MCESD.