90 days from today is Thu, 28 December 2023
14 February 2023
Gwent Police Federation has repeated its calls for a new funding system after the latest annual settlement was announced.
Branch chair Matthew Candy said policing needed a long-term investment model to ensure forces could plan ahead and deliver a more efficient and proactive service.
He was speaking after policing minister Chris Philp announced the 2023/24 settlement would total to £17.2 billion - £287 million more than last year - but that a lot of the extra cash was coming from council tax precepts set by local Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC).
The minister told the Commons: “Because of the way we are allocating the funding between PCCs who deliver frontline services, versus money spent by the Home Office centrally, the amount of money being received by PCCs will go up by over a half billion, it’ll go up by £523 million.
“I would, of course, want to remind the House and to remind PCCs that before they turn to local taxpayers to increase their contributions, it is important for PCCs and indeed chief constables to seek efficiencies and maximise productivity before increasing levels of tax.”
Many PCCs have already indicated they will seek to raise the precept by the maximum allowed under a change in the rules introduced by this Government.
Critics have accused the Government of handing responsibility for the police budget to the council taxpayers.
And shadow Home Office minister Sarah Jones said the grant funding “is down in real terms” and blamed the Government for “further burdening local taxpayers instead of dealing with inflation and properly funding the police”.
Matthew said the increase in police funding was welcome but warned the annual settlement model was becoming unsustainable.
He said: “The way policing is funding is worked out is no longer fit for purpose. The figures are just too variable so forces can’t make long-term plans because they simply don’t know how the finances will look in 12 months’ time.
“You can’t really run a modern, efficient police service based on the existing funding model and we are calling for root and branch reform.
“Raising extra funding through the PCC precept may well be the answer this time round but what about next year and the year after that?
“We need a sustainable system that provides sustainable, long-term investment which allows us to work at our most effective and at the moment we don’t have that.”