THE Government has pledged to undertake a review of co-operative legislation, including the Industrial and Provident Societies Acts and the Credit Unions Act.
Treasury Minister and Labour/ Co-op MP Ed Balls told a Building Societies Association meeting in London: "We will identify the strengths and weakness of the current framework and produce recommendations for improvement and reform."
Added Mr Balls: "We will be examining the recent Companies Act to explore whether it contains elements that should be adopted into the legal framework under which mutuals operate."
Co-op Party spokeswoman Hilda Carr said the announcement was the culmination of many years' intense work by the Party, which had argued for the need to update co-operative legislation.
She said: "Having paved the way with three Private Members Bills, the Party looks forward to working with the Treasury to complete the modernisation of co-op law."
Labour/Co-op MP Gareth Thomas, Chair of the Co-operative Party, commented: "This announcement illustrates the true value of the Co-operative Party to our Movement. In 2007 we will celebrate 90 years of the Party, and since we were founded in 1917, we have worked to promote co-operative businesses. We continue to do this with our partners in Government, and we recognise that our work is only made possible by the support of co-operative societies."