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FACT S E R V I C E

193 Rich are bankrolling Cameron's Tory Party 195 Poverty was on the rise before the recession
Guide shows benefits of being in a union

194 Chancellor hits public sector workers 196 Will pay lag behind inflation next year?
TUC seals tie up with Ruskin College Blacklisting is to be outlawed by early 2010

Annual Subscription £70.25 (£59.50 for LRD affiliates) Volume 71, Issue 49, 10 December 2009

Once again it was the taxpayer who helped out


Rich are bankrolling considerably to the party’s fortunes. Three tranches
of public money totalled £1,283,884 or 24 pence in
Cameron's Tory Party every £1 received by CCO. The money came mainly
through the so-called “Short money” and “Cranborne
Rich individuals have been signing big personal money” from the Houses of Commons and Lords
cheques over to the Conservative Party, latest respectively, which is public money to help the op-
figures from the political watchdog, the Electoral position parties in Parliament.
Commission, show.
There were two donations from Conservative Party
Ninety eight individuals handed over a total of lotteries which came to £314,500.
£2,541,145 to Conservative Central Office (CCO)
in the third quarter of 2009, a Fact Service analysis For Labour Party headquarters, the unions were by
of commission figures show. far the largest provider of income with 12 unions giv-
ing a total of £2,154,574 (see table). That sum, which
Donations from rich individuals accounted for 48 included affiliation fees, donations and sponsor-
pence in every £1 received by CCO in the third ship, accounted for 90 pence in every £1 received
quarter of the year. In total, CCO received £5.3 at the party's Victoria Street HQ. In total £2.4 million
million from all sources in the quarter. was received by the party from all sources.

City money dominated with £252,000 given by Eleven companies gave £78,225 in total — mostly
hedge fund manager Michael Farmer. Property in the form of sponsorship. Company donations
magnates David Rowland and Chaim Poju Zabludo- accounted for five pence in every £1 received at
wicz gave £140,000 and £100,000 respectively. the party centrally.

Thirty-eight companies gave a total of £1,169,067 or The party attracted just seven donations totalling
22 pence in every £1 received. £78,225 from individuals accounting for three
pence in every £1 received.
IM Properties, part of long-time Tory supporter Rob-
ert Edmiston’s business empire, gave £250,000 and Public money — £36,340 from the Scottish Parlia-
the construction equipment dynasty, the Bamfords, ment — accounted for two pence in every £1, while
gave £130,000 through their JCB Research company. there was just £5,924 from other sources.

LABOUR RESEARCH DEPARTMENT


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194 Fact Service Volume 71 Issue 49

Union £ public sector spending and capping public sec-


ASLEF (rail) 11,363 tor pay, the PCS civil servants' union said in its
BFAWU (bakers) 7,645 response to the report.
BECTU (media) 5,425
CWU (post and telecoms) 198,881
Community (steel, textiles, betting) 25,898 The attack on public sector workers came as the
GMB (general) 8,600 chancellor announced that public sector borrowing
Musicians' Union 9,238
TSSA (transport) 18,773
in 2009-10 would now be £3 billion higher at £178
UCATT (construction) 74,200 billion. That figure would reduce to £176 billion next
Usdaw (shops and distribution) 281,955 year, £140 billion in 2011-12 before falling further to
UNISON (public services) 735,070
Unite (general) 1 777,526
£96 billion in 2013-14. The budget deficit would be
halved by 2013-14, according to the chancellor.
Total 2,154,574

Excludes donations to Constituency Labour Parties, and other party organisa- Taxation National insurance contributions are to
tions rise by a further 0.5% from April 2011 (making it a
1
Includes Amicus and T&G sections
1% rise in total). Meanwhile, VAT will return to 17.5%
from 1 January 2010 and the stamp duty holiday on
The Liberal Democrats received just £321,289 at its
Cowley Street HQ, London, in the third quarter. certain properties will end on the same date.

Four companies gave a total of £248,300, but There is to be a one-off 50% tax on bank bonuses
£205,000 of that came from the political reform of more than £25,000.
group, the Joseph Rowntree Reform Trust. Com-
pany donations accounted for 77 pence in every Benefits The basic state pension will rise by 2.5%
£1 received at headquarters. in April 2010 giving a single pensioner the princely
sum of an extra £2.40 a week as their pension rises
Six individuals gave a total of £42,125 or 13 pence in to £97.65 a week.
every £1 received; and there was £30,864 in public
money or 10 pence in every £1. Benefits normally uprated by the rise in the Retail
Prices Index will rise by 1.5% next April even
http://registers.electoralcommission.org.uk/regulatory-issues/regdpoliticalparties.
cfm
though the previous September figure usually used
was a negative one.

Economy The Treasury now expects the economy


Chancellor hits public to shrink by 4.75% this year, much worse than the
sector workers 3.5% forecast in the April Budget. Nevertheless,
the chancellor is sticking to his guns and expects
the recovery to arrive next year with growth of 1%-
Chancellor Alistair Darling has used the public
1.5% as forecast in April with 3.25%-3.75% growth
sector workforce as the whipping boy for the fail-
in each of the following two years.
ures in the banking system and the subsequent
taxpayers’ bail out. www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/prebud_pbr09_index.htm
www.tuc.org.uk/economy/tuc-17338-f0.cfm
In his Pre-Budget Report, the chancellor said all www.pcs.org.uk/en/news_and_events/news_centre/index.cfm/id/5DBA6FAA-6150-
4F01-90AB1F3ECCFBA2A6
public sector pay settlements were to be capped
at 1% for two years. Contributions to public sector
pensions were to be cut by £1 billion a year.
TUC seals tie up with
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: “A
centralised pay cap on public sector staff is unfair, Ruskin College
inefficient and will damage long-established inde-
pendent review systems — which already take afford- The TUC has signed an agreement signalling
ability into account. Public sector workers — many closer working between its Organising Academy
of whom are low paid — should not have to pay the and Oxford-based Ruskin College.
price for a crash they did nothing to cause.”
Since 1899 Ruskin has been making university level
The government should be focusing more on tack- education accessible to the working classes and
ling the £100 billion plus of uncollected, evaded this agreement will see it putting on a number of
and avoided tax instead of talking about slashing courses for recruits to the 2010 Academy.
Volume 71 Issue 49 Fact Service 195

The TUC’s Organising Academy was set up in 1998  repossessions are six times the level of 2004 and
to help unions reach out to recruit new members are now back to the level they were in 1994.
and organise a union presence in workplaces
where unions have previously had no influence. There are positives to take over the last decade
as progress has been made on a number of social
Paul Nowak, TUC head of organisation and serv- problems. For example, the minimum levels of
ices, said that over the past 11 years, the Organising educational attainment have risen for 11- and 16-
Academy had helped thousands of union officers year-olds; and school exclusions have fallen, the
and organisers develop the skills needed to meet report found.
the organising challenge. These organisers had
then gone on to take the union message of fair- The rate of premature deaths is falling and infant
ness, equality and decent work out to thousands mortality has fallen across all social groups — an-
of workplaces. other plus.
“The partnership with Ruskin College,” Novak Dr. Peter Kenway, co-author of the report, said:
said, “will allow us to continue to develop a first “Looking across the whole range of subjects cov-
class training programme, aimed at demonstrat- ered in this report, there is much in the govern-
ing unions are relevant in the 21st century and ment’s record that is positive.
ensuring working people in the UK get a good
deal at work.” “But on the core subjects of low income and em-
www.tuc.org.uk/organisation/tuc-17330-f0.cfm ployment, the picture is bleak. In particular, it is not
just a question of ‘recovering from the recession’
since things started going seriously wrong as long
Poverty was on the rise ago as 2004.”

before the recession


www.jrf.org.uk/publications/monitoring-poverty-2009

Levels of poverty, unemployment and repossessions


in the UK started rising as early as 2004, long before Guide shows benefits of
the recession began, according to the social justice
group, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF). being in a union
With the recession putting pressure on Britain’s
The findings mean that in order to reduce the
workers, the TUC has published new materials to
number of people living in poverty by any serious
help unions attract new recruits and also to dem-
margin, the UK needs to recover not just from the
onstrate the value of unions to employers.
recession, but from the deep-seated problems that
were re-emerging before the downturn.
Alongside a new leaflet aimed at encouraging
Monitoring poverty and social exclusion, produced workers who have never thought about joining a
by the New Policy Institute, is the JRF’s annual as- union to do so, and a guide to show union reps how
sessment of poverty in the UK. Built around a set of to research the employers they deal with, the TUC
indicators and constructed using the latest official has also released a new report looking at the posi-
government data, the report assesses a wide range tive advantages unions bring to the UK economy.
of subjects including unemployment, education,
and health. The Union Advantage says that union members
get higher wages, better sickness and pension
It found that 2004-05 marked a key turning point, benefits, are much more likely to be able to take
with poverty, unemployment and repossessions all advantage of flexible working and are able to take
starting to rise: more annual leave.
 poverty is now back at the same level as 2000;
having risen every year since 2004-05; The report cites official statistics showing that
 two million children are in low-income, work- workers in a union earn 12.5% more an hour than
ing households — the highest figure since records employees in a non-unionised workplace, with aver-
began; age hourly earnings of £13.07 compared to £11.62.
 unemployment bottomed in 2005 and now nearly
one in eight people of working age want but lack The presence of a union is likely to push training
a job; the highest level since 1997; up the workplace agenda, encouraging members
196 Fact Service Volume 71 Issue 49

to take up courses to improve their skills which government will introduce new regulations ban-
their company can then benefit from in the form ning the practice.
of improved productivity. Over 230,000 workers
were helped into taking up some form of learning Lord Young for the government said: “Blacklisting
by their union last year, says the report. someone because they are a member of a trade
union is totally unacceptable.
www.tuc.org.uk/organisation/tuc-17317-f0.cfm
www.tuc.org.uk/extras/unionadvantage.pdf
“There is already legal protection against the
misuse of people’s personal details. We will now
strengthen the law by introducing new regulations
Will pay lag behind to outlaw the compilation, dissemination and use

inflation next year? of blacklists.

“The government is determined to stamp out this


Employers predict pay rises for UK workers will despicable practice and our legislative proposals
average 1.6% next year — 2% in the private sector are a proportionate and robust response”.
and only 1% in the public sector.
The regulations will:
And, according to the Hay Group, which carried  make it unlawful for organisations to refuse
out the research, “moderate” pay rises will leave employment or sack individuals as a result of ap-
workers worse off in 2010, as inflationary pressures pearing on a blacklist;
boost the cost of living.  make it unlawful for employment agencies to
refuse to provide a service on the basis of appear-
The research reveals two-thirds (64%) of employ- ing on a blacklist; and
ees are working over and above contracted hours,  enable individuals or unions to pursue compen-
while more than a third (36%) have put in increased sation or solicit action against those who compile,
overtime over the past 12 months. distribute or use blacklists.
Pay rises in the private sector will be driven by The government plans to table the regulations for
improving company performance as the economy Parliament to consider as soon as possible. They
begins to pick up, Hay predicts. Corporate per- will need to be debated and approved by each
formance in many sectors is beginning to improve, House before they can be implemented, but pro-
although there may be significant differentials vided they get approval, the regulations could be
between industries. brought into effect early next year.
As a result, freezing pay for a second year running Unions have welcomed the regulations. Alan
will be a “very hard sell”. As such, pay increases Ritchie, general secretary of the construction union
in the private sector may stretch to more like 3% UCATT, said: “Blacklisting is a disgraceful, under-
— but will still lag behind inflation. hand practice. The introductions of laws, which
are designed to prevent blacklisting, are welcome
But the pressure to keep a lid on pay increases in and long overdue. Never again must the lives of
2010 will be stronger in the public than private sec- workers and their families be ruined because of
tor — a reversal of fortunes compared with 2009. blacklisting.”
www.hrmagazine.co.uk/news/971497/year-ahead-Moderate-pay-rises-predicted-2010-
workers-will-worse-off/ Les Bayliss, assistant general secretary of general
union Unite, said: “Too many construction workers
have suffered victimisation at the hands of unscru-
Blacklisting is to be pulous employers and it is right to stamp out this
practice for good.”
outlawed by early 2010 www.berr.gov.uk/files/file53734.pdf
http://nds.coi.gov.uk/clientmicrosite/content/Detail.aspx?ReleaseID=409194&NewsA
reaID=2&ClientID=431
It will be unlawful for union members to be denied www.ucatt.info/content/view/795/30/
employment through blacklists under plans outlined www.unitetheunion.com/news__events/latest_news/unite_welcomes_govern-
by employment relations minister Lord Young. ments_an.aspx

To prevent employers from blacklisting workers Designed and printed by RAP Spiderweb Limited, Clowes Street, Hollinwood,
for their trade union membership or activities the Oldham OL9 7LY Telephone 0161 947 3700