2 March 2022
Police officers – subject to a brutal Government pay freeze since 2020 – have reacted with a mixture of astonishment and anger to the news that MPs are being granted a 2.7% pay rise.
All MPs will get a £2,212 pay hike on 1 April, seeing an MP's basic salary go up to £84,144 a year.
Over the past 10 years due to ‘austerity’ based pay freezes and subsequent below inflation pay rises, police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 20% behind the cost of living.
Unlike nurses and firefighters, police officers were given no pay rise in 2021 with the public cost of the Covid-19 pandemic blamed by the Treasury.
Now household bills are rising sharply and National Insurance is going up in April – the same week MPs will receive their rise.
Officers have reacted to the news with fury – especially as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which sets MP salaries, said the politicians should be paid fairly for the responsibilities they carried, which ‘dramatically increased’ during the pandemic.
Paul Williams, Chair of Cumbria Police Federation, said: “A 2.7% pay rise for all the extra work… honestly words fail me with this latest sucker punch.
“This Government created incredible responsibility for us during the Covid-19 pandemic, they enforced responsibility on us and stood back watching our members get kicked, punched, bitten and spat at with weaponised Covid threats trying to enforce those extra responsibilities placed on us. For what? Absolutely nothing but an effective pay cut.
“Increase in assaults on emergency workers, increase in workload, increase in risk. But no increase in their pay. And now this announcement. Officers are rightly fuming.
“All of this directly after the staggering Police Federation pay and morale survey results showing cops are at their lowest ebb and ready to quit.
“I'm standing to give a slow clap to this insulting and degrading announcement with a timing that surely even this Government couldn't be clumsy enough to divulge by accident. If ever there was a question of why we have voted no confidence in the Home Secretary here's the answer.”
In May 2021 the Police Federation withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) after recommendations from the body were once again disregarded by the Government, seeing officers with no uplift in pay despite the efforts and challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.