Ministers urged to crack down on the time taxpayer-funded public sector workers spend on union duties
MINISTERS are under pressure to reduce the time public sector workers spend on union duties.
Tory MP Richard Fuller is writing to Cabinet ministers asking for the time to be limited.
Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said last week that it was “difficult to understand” why union activities are “supported by the taxpayer”.
Some public bodies, including Network Rail and Hs2, do not have to disclose the number of union officials working there or the cost of their ‘installation time’.
Analysis by the Taxpayers Alliance estimates that over £100m of installation time goes unreported – on top of the £98m that was recorded for 2020-21.
Duncan Simpson of the Taxpayers Alliance said last night: ‘Militant unions could receive twice as much taxpayer support as official documents suggest.
“These indirect subsidies strengthen the power of unions over the public sector, with taxpayers supporting shop stewards to plan strikes.
‘Unless ministers want to subscribe to endless industrial action, they should heed calls from MPs to limit installation time.’
A government spokesperson said: ‘We are committed to delivering the best value for money, reducing waste and inefficiency and ensuring that every pound of taxpayers’ money is spent in the best way possible.
“We regularly publish our expenditure to maintain transparency and ensure that we are held accountable by Parliament, the press and the public.”