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Making it Mutual: The ownership revolution that Britain needs

Publication Details

New essay collection

The latest publication from ResPublica calls for a radical structural shift in order to address the deep-seated deficit and underlying problems of British competitiveness. Making it Mutual: The ownership revolution that Britain needs calls for a new economic model that extends ownership to all. In the wake of the long-term squeeze on wages and income, a mutual business model is needed that delivers growth that benefits everyone.

Diverse and devolved ownership, power and capital, alongside user, consumer and employee participation in governance and decision-making, are principles that we can all agree with. Unlike any other policy agenda, mutual, employee-owned and co-operative models, and their underpinning ideals, have attracted cross-party support and have been promoted as foundational players to our public institutions, private services and businesses, not just in this Government’s lifetime, but the ones that have preceded it also.

This is not to say that mutual models are a ‘silver bullet’ for all of our economic and societal problems, or indeed, that such models have been or will be successful in all sectors and public services. It must be right for the locality, the employees and the industry, and, as many of the contributors within this collection point out, must be considered as one model amongst others that could seek to promote similar principles. Greater plurality and competition within markets – both public and private – matched with greater participation, ownership and control, is first and foremost needed.

Edited by Caroline Julian, Senior Researcher at ResPublica, and with a foreword by Cabinet Minister Francis Maude MP, the collection includes essays that cover all areas of policy – energy, financial services, education, infrastructure, welfare, public services, competition – and proposes entrepreneurial and innovative policy proposals for structural reform.

It draws together essays from a range of policy-makers and practitioners, including Dame Tessa Jowell; Graeme Nuttall, Government Advisor, HM Treasury Employee Ownership Advisory Group; Professor Julian Le Grand, Chair, Mutuals Taskforce; Clive Betts MP, Chair, Communities and Local Government Select Committee; Charlie Mayfield, Chairman, John Lewis Partnership; Michael Quicke, Chief Executive, CCLA; Andrew Burnell, Chief Executive of City Health Care Partnerships; and Dr Patrick Roach, Deputy Director General, NASUWT, many of whom argue that deregulation and tax cutting is simply not enough and that an urgent radical approach is needed beyond orthodox supply-side reform.

The publication is supported by City Health Care Partnership, John Lewis Partnership, NASUWT – the teachers’ union, CCLA Investment Management and the Community Development Finance Association (CDFA).