On the 17th November 2014, Minister Edward Scicluna addressed co-operative matters in his government’s budget speech for 2015.   He claimed that his government found a lacuna in the co-operative sector in Malta and that his government is committed to promoting the utilisation of the co-operative model.  Additionally government was to ensure a level playing field for cooperatives such that they may operate without any disadvantage when compared to other models of enterprise.

He focused on the situation of the co-operative schemes in the public sector, launched in 1996 and which were not in sync with the 2001 co-operative legislative changes.  It had become apparent, he said, that these two schemes, which were meant to entice government employees to form co-operative societies, did not reach the desired results and that no analysis was made to determine why these schemes failed or whether these schemes were still relevant.

Minister Scicluna stated that his government believes in the co-operative concept and that government was committed to study these schemes and to update them in such a way to make them relevant for today’s circumstances.  Government was also committed to encourage employees to form cooperatives and government would help these co-operatives to succeed.

He concluded that the government is discussing with the Co-operatives Board ways on how these schemes may be implemented, such that, throughout 2015 the changes required come into effect thus enabling government employees to register strong co-operatives aimed at increasing productivity in the various service sectors.

Rolan Micallef Attard