JACOB Rees-Mogg last night slammed unions after a report revealed the thousands of public sector staff taking paid time off to carry out their activities.
The new report exposes trade union ‘facility’ time involving nearly 24,000 workers in 2020-21 and costing £100 million.
Mr Rees-Mogg, Minister for Government Efficiency, sent a clear signal that the practice had gone too far and should not be propped up by taxpayers.
He said: “Trades unions receive subscriptions from members to pay for their activities. It is difficult to understand why unions are also supported by the taxpayer.”
Facility time is paid time off taken by union officials to carry out duties for the organisations.
The Department for Work and Pensions had 1,227 union reps costing £552,593 in 2020-21.
Maidstone and Tunbridge Wells NHS Trust had the largest facility time bill, with their 17 trade union reps costing £6,721,600 in 2020-21.
Transport for London had the second largest with their 880 reps costing £6,400,000 in the same time frame.
The research also revealed more than 1,000 public sector workers spent all their time on union duties.
The Taxpayers’ Alliance, who carried out the analysis, is now calling on the government to restrict trade union officials from spending more than half of their time on union duties.
John O’Connell, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Brits will be furious that thousands of staff who should be providing public services are moonlighting for the trade unions instead.
"Ministers are right to question the scale of facility time, and must reform the rules to stop taxpayers being taken for a ride.”
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