Fed steps up wage demands amid public sector pay warnings

Dyfed Powys Police Federation has repeated its 17 per cent pay claim amid fresh warnings over public sector increases.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has hinted the Government might make some unpopular decisions as it tries to combat rising inflation.

But branch chair Gareth Jones said police officers should not be expected to take another real-terms pay cut.

He said: “Police pay has declined over the last 20 years and it would be grossly unfair for our members to be told to take another hit.

“We always come off worse when it comes to public sector pay settlements and we want to see the balance restored with a 17 per cent increase.

“That figure would bring us into line with colleagues from fellow frontline emergency services and also takes into account the fact that many of our members are struggling with soaring food prices, household bills and mortgage repayments.

“Our members have put up with enough for many, many years and would find it hard to accept another unreasonable pay award this time round.”

The Police Federation is calling for a 17 per cent pay rise this year

Gareth’s comments came after Mr Sunak said he would not shy away from making decisions “people may not like” after vowing to halve inflation by the end of the year.

He said inflation was “higher than we’d like” and insisted it was important to “make the right and responsible decisions on things like public sector pay”.

And he refused to commit to accepting recommendations for public sector pay rises as part of the Government’s bid to calm the rate of rising prices.

Pay review body recommendations are not legally binding on the Government and, although they are typically accepted, ministers can choose to reject or partially ignore the advice.

This would be a controversial move after the Government defended last year’s below-inflation pay rises by saying it had followed the bodies’ advice.

The Police Federation withdrew its support for the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) and branded it unfit for purpose after the 2021 pay freeze.

The latest skirmish in the long-running pay row comes after the Police Federation announced it would ballot members on whether the organisation should pursue industrial rights on their behalf.