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THE TRADE UNION ACT 1913

However, in the specific area of political expenditure, the trade unions had to accept some limitations on their freedom to spend their funds. Expenditure for political purposes had to be from a specific ‘political fund’ administered separately from the union general fund, established by a ballot of the membership and financed by a ‘political levy’ on individual members. The Act also defined and limited the political activities that could be supported by expenditure from the political fund. Furthermore, as a consequence of Conservative pressure in both Houses, provisions were incorporated into the Act to ensure that no union member would be forced to contribute to the political fund if it was anathema to their personal convictions or conscience and to safeguard them from discrimination within the union.