Police officers are to receive pay rises of seven per cent across all ranks after the Government accepted the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB).
The offer is well short of the 17 per cent claim issued by the Police Federation and the Government’s decision to rule out extra borrowing to fund the pay increases amid fears of stoking inflation could mean more cuts to existing services.
The current level of CPI inflation is running at 8.7 per cent and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - who has promised to cut it to around 5.3 per cent by the end of the year - wants to avoid increases which could fuel a wage-price spiral.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told MPs it was “important to deliver on the Prime Minister’s priority to get debt falling and to control borrowing to avoid adding inflationary pressures and risk prolonging higher inflation”.
He said: “That means taking difficult but responsible decisions on the public finances, including public sector pay, because more borrowing is itself inflationary.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said the police pay rise would be partly covered by increasing the cost of certain visas by up to 20 per cent to create more funding for border forces, allowing the Home Office to divert some money towards police officer pay.
Police officers have been awarded a seven per cent pay rise
Responding to the announcement, Dyfed Powys Police Federation chair Gareth Jones said: “A seven per cent offer is a good deal under the current economic climate and we welcome pay increases for our members but this falls short of what we had asked for so there are mixed feelings.
“Our members are facing soaring household bills and rising costs and this award once again falls below the rate of inflation.
“But this is a step in the right direction and certainly the best pay rise we have seen for many years.”
National Federation chair Steve Hartshorn said: “I have no doubt that police officers will have mixed feelings – on the one hand, they will be pleased that the pay award was not as bad as some media outlets had speculated, but also disappointed that it doesn’t fully take account of inflation, as they and their families struggle with increased utility, mortgage and food costs.
“We will continue to push for fair pay awards that take full account of inflation and recognise and reward the unique status of police officers; including the introduction of a fair, independent mechanism and negotiation process, so that we can properly sit down with government and employers to negotiate pay settlements that fully consider the risks and restrictions placed on police officers’ private and professional lives. The focus going forward needs to be on pay restoration.”