After years of stagnation this Budget represented a vital opportunity to begin the investment needed to create a brighter future for us all. It could have been the moment Britain began investing in its co-operative, mutual and wider social economy – seizing on the ambition of the co-operative sector to double in size over the next five years.

Unfortunately, this has not been the case. Once again, the Government’s Budget has completely failed to mention co-operatives or mutuals, despite them contributing over £87.9bn to the UK economy per annum and sustaining almost half a million jobs. Since the Conservatives entered government in 2010, co-operatives have only been mentioned four times in the proceeding 17 Budgets.

Time and again the advantages of the co-operative model, its contribution to the economy and its potential for growth have been ignored by the incumbent Government. It’s clear only a future Labour & Co-operative Government will help restore growth and support the doubling of the co-operative sector.

While it is a significant missed opportunity for co-operative growth, there is a recognition of the importance of community-led approaches to housing and regeneration. The £20m announced for community-led housing is however too small to enabling the scaling up of Community Land Trusts across Britain – which would deliver affordable housing for the long-term benefit of communities.

The Co-operative Party is pleased to see our campaigning for the extension of the Household Support Fund has led to its renewal until September. The Household Support Fund has been a vital lifeline for families struggling to make ends meet and we will continue to campaign for its extension and maintenance beyond Autumn.

A new Labour & Co-operative Government is desperately needed to raise living standards, create new community-led affordable housing and unleash the growth of the co-operative and mutual sector across the country.