New TPA Research: Taxpayers fund trade unions to the tune of £85 million a year

Public sector trade unions are preparing to fight spending cuts and threatening strikes, and they are doing so with the help of taxpayers' money. The TaxPayers' Alliance have, for the first time, calculated the value of the direct grants and paid time off that unions are receiving.


Click here to read the full report

Key findings:

- Trade unions received £85.8 million from public sector organisations in 2009-10
- This sum is made up of £18.3 million in direct payments from public sector organisations and an estimated £67.5 million in paid staff time.
- The total is up 14 per cent from 2008-09, when trade unions received £76.1 million from public sector organisations.
- 2,493 full time equivalent public sector employees worked for trade unions at the taxpayers' expense in 2009-10.

This new research was compiled by sending Freedom of Information requests to more than 1,200 of public sector organisations, including fire authorities, quangos, councils, NHS Trusts, ambulance and fire services. There is a full breakdown of all these figures in the report, revealing the estimated value of the paid time off that union staff are getting in each organisation, in each local area.

Matthew Sinclair, Director of the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Trade unions are lining up to fight vital cuts in public spending and threatening strikes that could cause massive disruption for ordinary families. By financing their other work, like representing and recruiting members, taxpayers' money frees up union funds for political contributions and expensive campaigns. If big, rich, public sector unions are going to take an active political role, there is no way they should be getting taxpayers' money."


Jennifer Dunn, Policy Analyst at the TaxPayers' Alliance, said:

"Taxpayers expect their money to be spent providing services, not propping up unions fighting for their own interest. Public sector employees should be working for the public and not representing trade unions, whose agenda threatens to jeopardise public services. The unions should not be given special treatment and should pay for their own representatives and programmes."


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