This huge subsidy of the union movement was uncovered by Lord Ashcroft.
"To ask Her Majesty's Government whether they have given funds to the Trades Union Congress; and, if so, how much in the past five years."
Baroness Wilcox, a BIS minister, answered:
"The Government provide funding to the Trades Union Congress (TUC) to support a number of programmes but do not keep a central record of expenditure. The main sources of direct government funding over the past five years have been from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and the Department for International Development. The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills provided funding to the TUC for the Union Learning Fund (ULF) and unionlearn, the TUC's learning and skills organisation, to support trades unions in working with employers to raise skill levels in the workplace. The department also provided funding via the union modernisation fund and strategic partnership fund to support modernisation projects to help trades unions respond to technological, economic and other changes in the workplace. The total amount of funding provided from 2005-06 to 2009-10 in respect of these programmes was £69.8 million. The Department for International Development provided funding to the TUC to support the Partnership Programme Arrangement and the Strategic Framework Partnership Agreement. The total amount of funding provided from 2005-06 to 2009-10 was £2,186,780."