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TUC's O'Grady slams unions review

The head of the TUC is demanding to know how much taxpayers' money was spent on a Government review into trade unions.

General secretary Frances O'Grady has written to the Public Accounts Committee asking how much was spent on a brief review by Sir Bruce Carr, which ended with no recommendations being made.

She told the TUC Congress in Liverpool that the inquiry into unions and so-called extreme tactics was "much hyped", adding: "It seems the review has more or less shut up shop, citing a lack of evidence, and a 'progressively politicised environment'."

I will be writing to the chair of the Public Accounts Committee, Margaret Hodge, to ask how much taxpayers' hard-earned cash has been wasted on this Conservative Party stunt.

"I know you will join me in demanding they pay back every single penny.

"Over the coming weeks and months we can expect plenty more of the same from where that grubby exercise in spin and smear came from."

Ms O'Grady said economic growth was back, but there was no sign of it in workers' pay packets, adding that the gap between high and low pay had got worse.

"Top chief executives now earn 175 times the wages of the average worker.

"So come the election, we face a choice. Are we going to settle for a nastier, poorer Britain, a Downton Abbey-style society, in which living standards of the vast majority are sacrificed to protect the high living of the well-to-do?"

Jobs being created were often low paid and insecure, while young people were stuck in unpaid internships and "dead end" jobs, she said.

"While youth unemployment is still too high, the Government may boast that record numbers of young people are entering university. What they don't tell you is that it's Brideshead Revisited for the few but decades of debt for the rest."

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