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Requirement of Postal Ballot for Certain Ballots and Elections

Part of Orders of the Day — Employment Bill – in the House of Commons at 4:45 pm on 10th February 1988.

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Photo of Andrew Welsh Andrew Welsh , Angus East 4:45 pm, 10th February 1988

I want to ask a specific question. To save the Minister intervening at this point, he can answer me in his reply. I know that, rightly, the Government are keen to reduce bureaucracy affecting businesses and especially small businesses, and they have my support in that. However, this measure will do the opposite for trade unions which, to some extent, must rely on the voluntary and unpaid efforts of individual members.

Has the Minister any estimate of the extra bureaucratic costs and the effect on unions of imposing the extra burden? Is the Minister pressing the clause on ideological grounds, irrespective of the effect of the costs on trade unions? If not, will he tell the House what homework he has done on the effects of the clause? Is he thinking of extending the principle to other organisations, or will it apply only to trade unions because they are trade unions? I am not sponsored by a trade union, but I can tell when an organisation is being persecuted.