§ Mr. Les Huckfield
asked the Secretary of State for Industry what financial and other assistance his Department is currently providing to workers' co-operatives under the Industry Acts and other legislation; how this compares with the previous five years; and whether he will make a statement.
§ Mr. MacGregor
Co-operatives are entitled to the same assistance under the Industry Act and other legislation as others forms of business, provided they meet the necessary criteria of the particular scheme.
In the five years to 31 December 1981 common ownership and co-operative enterprises received a total of £224,250 in grant-assisted loans and organisations concerned with giving advice to such enterprises received a total of £174,000 in grants under the provisions of the Industrial Common Ownership Act 1976, which have now expired. In the same period grant-in-aid total £900,000 was also provided for the Co-operative Development Agency under the terms of the Co-operative Development Agency Act 1978. The Government have agreed to provide a further £600,000 for the agency from 1 September 1981.
Data on assistance provided under the Industry Act and other legislation do not identify co-operatives as a separate group in terms of legal status. The information requested could therefore be provided only at disproportionate cost.