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Police pay to rise by two percent

12 September 2017

POLICE OFFICERS will receive a 2% pay rise in September but unions have said the increase is not high enough.

The offer includes an additional 1% non-consolidated pay award for 2017/18 on top of a 1% increase in officers’ basic pay. The government claims the award strikes a balance between recognising the contribution made by police officers over the past year in response to some of the most challenging situations our country has faced for a very long time, and its responsibility to taxpayers to control public spending to support our economy.

The recommendations of the Prison Service Pay Review Body have been accepted in full to give staff in prisons a pay increase of 1.7% on average. These pay awards will be funded within existing budgets.

The last Spending Review budgeted for 1% increases in basic pay, in addition to the progression pay awards within specific workforces. The government says there will still be a need for pay discipline over the coming years, to ensure the affordability of public services and the sustainability of public sector employment.

Chief secretary to the Treasury Elizabeth Truss said: “Our talented and hardworking public sector workers deserve to have fulfilling jobs that are fairly rewarded and I am pleased to confirm the pay awards for police and prison officers for 2017/18.

“The government takes a balanced approach to public spending, dealing with our debts to keep our economy strong, while also making sure we invest in our public services.

“We will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers recognises their vital contribution and ensures that we can deliver world class public services, while also being affordable and fair to taxpayers as a whole.”

The Police Federation chair Steve White says the pay increase will leave many officers angry and idssapointed that is it not higher, he said: “Police officers do not join the service to make huge amounts of money; they do it out of a sense of duty and this year in particular have been tested to the max. However, they expect to be paid suitably for the immensely demanding role they perform and this simply is not the case.”

“The 2% award is a 1% pensionable pay rise across the board, plus 1% as an additional amount of money this year, non-pensionable. We asked for 2.8% and provided compelling evidence to support this, which on first review appears to be reflected in the recommendations made by the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) – the body which makes recommendations on police pay – to the Government. We were not greedy in what we asked for. 

“Officers have been taking home about 15% less than they were seven years ago. While it is a step in the right direction, the Government should have done this sooner but we don’t feel that non-consolidated pay awards are the way forward.”

The government has also revealed that inflation in the UK now stands at 2.9% and the Trade Union Congress (TUC) has described the government’s decision to offer public sector works a pay rise of beneath inflation as “pathetic”. TUC general secretary Frances O’Grady said:

“This below-inflation pay offer is pathetic. This isn't a pay rise, it's a pay cut. Public sector workers have suffered seven long years of real pay cuts, and are thousands of pounds worse off. Today’s announcement means bills will continue to rise faster than their wages.

“If Ministers think a derisory rise like this will deal with the staffing crisis in our public services, they are sorely mistaken. The government needs to identify where this money is coming from. It can't be loaded on to our already-stretched public services."