The Evening Standard has a trail of our launch event tonight, with a speech by Eric Pickles the Secretary of State for Local Government:
Councils may be ordered to publish details of how much taxpayers’ money they are spending on salaries and buildings for trade union officials, the Standard has learned. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles wants to bring in binding rules to open up the books after estimates that public bodies are spending £113 million a year on staff working on trade union activities.
In a speech tonight, Mr Pickles will accuse Labour authorities of “waging class war with public funds” by giving an effective subsidy to unions that are opposed to government policies.
Mr Pickles will say: “The public want their council tax frozen and their bins emptied every week. They don’t want it spent on trade unions’ political campaigning. It’s not right that the public’s money is covertly being used to bankroll union activists. They are diverting resources away from frontline services, waging class war with public funds.” He will speak at the launch of Trade Union Reform Campaign tonight at the Commons, a pressure group formed by Tory MPs to campaign for a crackdown. Calling for an end to “these non-jobs on the rates”, Mr Pickles will add: “Public sector workers need proper information about the political levy many are unwittingly paying.”
We loved the Morning Star’s reaction too: