Trade unions received £108m from the taxpayer last year

Tim Wallace
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TRADE unions took more than £100m in government support in 2012-13, according to figures published today by the Taxpayers’ Alliance.

Unions received £85m in paid staff time, the study estimated, and £23m in direct payments.

“It is simply wrong that taxpayers continue to see their money used to pay thousands of trade union activists who organise strikes which disrupt the services that they rely on and pay for handsomely,” said the campaign group’s Jonathan Isaby.

But unions hit back, arguing the attack is purely political.

“Union reps help businesses, from promoting training to resolving problems before they end up in employment tribunals,” said a TUC spokesperson. “That is why employers in both public and private sectors give union reps time off. But some on the right are simply against employees having a voice at work.”