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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.
Andy Berry, Chair of Devon and Cornwall Police Federation, said: “MPs aren’t employees and like police officers are servants of the crown – but unlike police officers they benefit from an independent pay review body. I passionately believe that police officers, who every day do extraordinary things to serve the public, must also have an Independent pay review body which is free from political interference.
“Police officers weren’t given a pay rise last year and this year the Home Office has suggested that we are only worth a 2% pay rise. This is an insult and only increases the 20% real terms loss of earnings that officers have suffered over the past decade.
“Police officers do amazing work every day to keep the public safe and answer their, often, desperate calls for help. Police officers can’t withdraw their labour and this special agreement with the public needs to be rewarded and recognised by fair pay, by fair treatment.
“IPSA stated ‘It is right that MPs are paid fairly for the responsibility and the unseen work they do helping their constituents, which dramatically increased last year.’ And whilst I am sure this is true, it is absolutely also true of the police.
“MPs need to do the decent thing and ensure that police officers, who keep them and their constituents safe, are treated fairly and are awarded a substantial pay increase to recognise not only their dedication but the massive rise in inflation and taxation which is hitting my members so hard.”
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.