HC Deb 03 December 1985 vol 88 cc185-6W
49. Mr. Alton

asked the Paymaster General how many trades unions have so far accepted moneys from the Government to pay for political levy ballots.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

I am informed by the certification officer that no payments have yet been made to unions in respect of political fund review ballots, although several unions have held ballots for which they could seek reimbursement under the ballot funding scheme.

50. Mr. Kenneth Carlisle

asked the Paymaster General how many pre-strike ballots have taken place under the provisions of the Trade Union Act 1984.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

We are aware of over 80 pre-strike ballots believed to comply with the provisions of the Trade Union Act 1984, but there will have been other ballots which the Department does not know about. One union in particular has been reported as having held over 130 pre-strike ballots since the provisions came into force.

66. Mr. Fatchett

asked the Paymaster General if he is satisfied with the level of turnout in the political fund ballots held under the provisions of the Trade Union Act 1984; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Peter Bottomley

We are encouraged by the generally high degree of participation in the recent round of political fund review ballots. This demonstrates how much trade union members appreciate the opportunity—in many cases the first they have had in 70 years—to express an opinion on the matter. I am only sorry that many unions have obscured the choice by playing down their links with a political party, by not revealing how much of their members political contributions goes straight in party affiliation fees and by exaggerating the circumstances in which a fund is needed.