Cameron's union claim backfires
David Cameron has been out on the stump today, declaring the Conservatives the party of "the strivers, the battlers, the family-raisers, the community-builders" and having a good old go at Labour for wasting money.
Part of that included an attack on Camden council, who as the PM put it "spent almost £200,000 on seven trade union activists".
But a little bird at Camden has been in touch to say the council actually spent more on union activists when it was run by the Tories and Lib-Dems then since Labour took over. To add insult to injury, my source quoted Taxpayers' Alliance figures to back up their defence.
"Employees who carry out branch official, convenor and shop steward roles are entitled to time off. The number of branch officials and convenors and amount of time taken, expressed as a full time equivalent, is outlined below:
2008/09 – 18, 8.0 full time equivalents
2009/10 – 18, 8.0 full time equivalents
2010/11 – 17, 7.8 full time equivalents"
Says my insider: "So LB Camden paid for *more* TU facility time when it was run by the Tories/LDs (2008-10) than when Labour took over (2010-). Hmmm."
But I'm sure the people who researched Cameron's speech knew that. Didn't they?
UPDATE: This is turning into a nice ding dong. Tories have been in touch to say their group on the council have proposed axing so-called pilgrims for the past two years but the motions have been voted down
It's also worth noting that the council, making £83.5 million of cuts, provides free office space to unions worth more than £30,000 a year.
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