13 July 2023
Derbyshire Police Federation secretary Kirsty Bunn said members would have mixed feelings about the seven per cent pay offer announced by the Government.
Kirsty described the award across all ranks as a step in the right direction but said it fell well short of the 17 per cent claim issued by the Police Federation and below the current rate of inflation.
The Government announced the increase in the Commons after accepting the recommendations of the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB).
Kirsty said: “We had asked for an increase of 17 per cent and that figure was designed to make up for many, many years of low or zero per cent pay rises and real-terms pay cuts.
“Policing has seen officer pay fall by 17 per cent in real terms since 2000 when you factor in inflation and we were looking to redress the balance.
“However, a seven per cent pay rise is the best our members have received for many years so there will be mixed feelings.
“It is a step in the right direction but it doesn’t quite go far enough.”
The Government has ruled out extra borrowing to fund the police pay increases amid fears of stoking inflation and this could mean cuts to existing frontline services.
The current level of CPI inflation is running at 8.7 per cent and Prime Minister Rishi Sunak - who has promised to cut it to around 5.3 per cent by the end of the year - wants to avoid increases which could fuel a wage-price spiral.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt told MPs it was “important to deliver on the Prime Minister’s priority to get debt falling and to control borrowing to avoid adding inflationary pressures and risk prolonging higher inflation”.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt ruled out extra borrowing to fund police pay
He said: “That means taking difficult but responsible decisions on the public finances, including public sector pay, because more borrowing is itself inflationary.”
Chief Secretary to the Treasury John Glen said the police pay rise would be partly covered by increasing the cost of certain visas by up to 20 per cent to create more funding for border forces, allowing the Home Office to divert some money towards police officer pay.
National chair Steve Hartshorn said: “I have no doubt that police officers will have mixed feelings – on the one hand, they will be pleased that the pay award was not as bad as some media outlets had speculated, but also disappointed that it doesn’t fully take account of inflation, as they and their families struggle with increased utility, mortgage and food costs.
“We will continue to push for fair pay awards that take full account of inflation and recognise and reward the unique status of police officers; including the introduction of a fair, independent mechanism and negotiation process, so that we can properly sit down with government and employers to negotiate pay settlements that fully consider the risks and restrictions placed on police officers’ private and professional lives. The focus going forward needs to be on pay restoration.”