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Devon & Cornwall Police Federation

A National Insurance increase on top of a police pay freeze will leave officers “is taking money out officers’ pockets”

10 September 2021

The National Insurance hike “is taking money out officers’ pockets”, especially on the back of a pay freeze, Devon and Cornwall Police Federation has said.

The 1.25% rise in National Insurance, which the Government says is needed to pay for health and social care, follows a 0% pay rise for police officers earning over £24,000.

Andy Berry, Chair of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said his members would be “frightened” about the impact on their personal finances and that the Government did not value the vital work of the police.

Andy said: “Many of my members will be frightened by this news. That sounds dramatic, but with no pay rise for officers, and inflation running at over 2%, then this National Insurance rise is taking money out of their pockets.

“We all understand the need to bridge the care gap for our elderly, but police officer pay is being left behind., The pressure on their personal finances will only increase the stress felt by officers in Devon and Cornwall, who are already trying to provide more to our public while having fewer officers than we had a decade ago.

“The increase in National Insurance of 1.25%, together with an inflation rate of 2.1%, means a real-terms pay cut for officers. When compared to the average pay rise reported recently by the ONS of 7.4%, it will leave my members questioning why the Government seems to think so little of the police. We were not prioritised for COVID jabs despite the obvious risk, and the Government felt us unworthy of a pay increase, unlike our colleagues in the NHS.

“This poor treatment of officers has to stop. The public values the police, and the Government must do the same.”

The Federation is campaigning for an overhaul of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB), which it has labelled “unfit for purpose”.

Andy said: “The Home Secretary can set the agenda for what the PRRB can consider in the first place, and then if she doesn’t like the result she can ignore the recommendation. No fair-minded person can think this is a fair process.

“Locally, I have already started talking to our MPs to ensure they understand that at the very least we deserve to have a fair and independent pay review process. My members willingly sign away many employment rights when they choose to serve the public, and the quid pro quo must be having that reasonable expectation to be treated fairly.”

John Apter, Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) tweeted: “Policing is underfunded and undervalued by this Government...The Government has lost the trust of my colleagues.”

The Police Federation hopes to put these issues to Home Secretary Priti Patel, who is expected to address the police service at the Superintendents’ Conference next week.