For how long, one wonders?
David Cameron might as well tear up the Trade Union Bill and forget about it. The increase to a 12-month transitional period will give all the unions time to rearrange their funding anyway.
Downing Street has agreed to a partial climbdown on reforms of trade unions amid warnings that the EU remain campaign needs to keep their members on side for the 23 June referendum.
After a protracted battle over the trade union bill, the government proposed delaying changes to political funding and agreed to a trial of e-voting for strike ballots.
Ministers will still force trade unionists to opt into their organisation’s political fund, rather than subscribing automatically, in a move that Labour has warned could cost the party up to £8m a year.
However, amendments tabled by the government on Tuesday afternoon would mean the changes now come into force after a longer transitional period of 12 months rather than three.
Ministers also agreed to pilot e-voting for strike ballots – a change suggested by the House of Lords.
It comes after a previous climbdown over plans to make all civil servants and staff in the wider public sector who belong to a union switch to direct debits or make other arrangements to pay their fees, rather than having them deducted from their salaries.
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