Pay thaw! Theresa May lifts 1% public sector cap

Henrietta Strickland
September 14, 2017

The Police Federation has accused Theresa May of telling the House of Commons a "downright lie" about the level of police pay at Prime Minister's Questions today.

"When comparing total pay in 2015/2016 to what it was in 2009/2010 it has increased in nominal terms by +2%, but decreased by -16% in real terms".

Theresa May's government has given in to pressure and lifted the 1% pay cap, awarding police and prison officers higher pay. The rise for 2017/18 is made up of a one-off 1% "non-consolidated" bonus on top of a 1% hike in basic pay. This can not be right.

He told Theresa May that they too are looking at real term pay cuts, not just nurses and other public sector workers.

After months of arguments, ministers thought they might hear faint praise this week when they approved pay rises of 2% for police and 1.7% for prison officers in 2017-18.

"It shows they have lost touch with reality, if they ever had it, and are clueless as to the demands and dangers officers have to face on a daily basis to keep communities safe".

Steve White, the chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, said many would be "angry and deflated" at their pay award.

The Police and Crime Commissioners of West Midlands Police and West Mercia Police have also warned that pay rises for officers could lead to recruitment of replacement officers being axed.

"This has to be addressed and the government has to be held to account".

"The tireless work and contribution of police officers in responding to some of the most challenging situations our country has faced for a very long time has been extraordinary", said home secretary Amber Rudd.

This will now bring wages for officers to starting salaries of between £19,971 (no qualifications) and £23,124 for constables, rising to £38,382 within seven years of joining.

And DUP MPs signalled to ministers that they were going to back a Labour motion on Wednesday, which urged May to "end the public sector pay cap in the NHS".

"Labour totally rejects the Tories' attempt to divide and rule public sector workers and a Labour government would end the pay cap for all workers and give them all the pay rises they desperately need and deserve".

Frances O'Grady, general secretary at the Trades Union Congress (TUC), said: "This below-inflation pay offer is pathetic".

"Lifting of the pay cap will be welcomed by the workforce. Anything below that inflation rate is a pay cut for our members".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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