Derbyshire Police Federation

Chancellor should be showing support for public sector

20 November 2020

The Chancellor of the Exchequer should not penalise public sector workers with a pay freeze next week, according to the chair of Derbyshire Police Federation.

Tony Wetton was speaking after speculation that Rishi Sunak may freeze the pay of more than five million workers in the public sector when he outlines the details of the Comprehensive Spending Review.

“I really hope that the Government pulls back from this if it is considering it.  It is obviously really difficult,  and we know there are people out there who have lost their jobs or been unable to earn a living through no fault of their own for long periods this year. 

"We have nothing but sympathy for anyone who has been plunged into financial difficulties.  The pandemic has created a huge financial burden that we will all need to deal with.  But we must remember that police officers, along with so many other public sector workers, have been on the front-line throughout the pandemic, putting themselves and their families at risk in order to protect their communities. 

"It is only right and proper that we do not penalise them and our NHS colleagues with another period of austerity and real terms pay cuts,” says Tony. 

“I find it very disappointing that ministers would even consider freezing their pay. In fact, I think the Chancellor should come out next week and voice his support for public sector workers. We all appreciate that the country is in economic crisis due to the pandemic but it cannot be right to freeze public sector workers’ pay when you consider their efforts in recent months.

"In spite of the financial difficulties, I think most people will remember the gratitude they felt to police officers, doctors, nurses, teachers and other front-line key workers and would want to repay that gratitude by refusing to accept that those who bore the brunt of the risk should shoulder the burden of paying for it.

“I know many colleagues are exhausted right now and if this speculation is right it will hit them hard.”

John Apter, national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, has warned the Government that a public sector pay freeze would be unforgiveable and a betrayal.

“Given the personal sacrifices made by public sector workers during this pandemic and following years of public sector pay freezes, such a move would be morally bankrupt. My colleagues deserve much more,” he said.

“During the pandemic, Government ministers have thanked and celebrated key workers in the public sector, even clapping on doorsteps to show their support. To freeze their pay and penalise these same workers would be complete hypocrisy.

“In real terms over the past decade, police officers have suffered an 18 per cent cut in pay - so speculation that there are more real term cuts to come will not be well received by rank and file police officers, who bravely stepped up and helped to keep the country moving.

“I am not naïve - I know the country is facing a difficult financial future. But cutting the pay of key workers is not the solution.”

 

 

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