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Hampshire Police Federation

Chair's reaction: Public sector pay freeze lifted

26 October 2021

“The public sector pay freeze lift is being met with caution from officers as they do not believe that they will be treated fairly by this Government in terms of pay."

Police officers are set to see their pay rise once again next year after the Government confirmed the public sector pay freeze is being lifted.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will use his Budget on Wednesday to say police officers, nurses, teachers and members of the armed forces are among those set to benefit.

A "temporary pause" in salary progression was introduced by the Government last November as a response to the pandemic – it saw police officers in England and Wales receive a 0% pay rise in 2021.

In an announcement late on Monday, the Treasury said the chancellor would use his forthcoming Budget to say "the solid economic recovery and encouraging signs in the labour market" mean the "pay pause" can be lifted.

Zoe Wakefield, Chair of Hampshire Police Federation, said “It is obviously welcome news that the public sector pay freeze is being lifted but it is being met with caution from officers as they do not believe that they will be treated fairly by this Government in terms of pay.

“Police Officers have suffered so many cuts to their pay that many officers are taking home approximately the same amount as they were 10 years ago. Police Officers have worked throughout the pandemic, putting themselves and their families at risk. Now we are getting back to normal, there has been a stark rise in demand which officers are struggling to meet. Many officers are tutoring new officers, adding extra work and responsibility. Every police force is under-resourced so officers are having to work harder, deal with more violent and traumatic incidents, with less opportunities to take breaks and get sufficient rest.

“Any increase needs to take into account the years of cuts to officers pay, the lack of a pay rise this year, the cost of inflation and the increase in NI contributions.”

In a statement given to the media on Monday night, Mr Sunak said: "The economic impact and uncertainty of the virus meant we had to take the difficult decision to pause public sector pay.

"Along with our plan for jobs, this action helped us protect livelihoods at the height of the pandemic.

"And now, with the economy firmly back on track, it's right that nurses, teachers and all the other public sector workers who played their part during the pandemic see their wages rise."

Ministers will be "running a full pay round and the awards will be announced next year once the Government responds to the pay review bodies' recommendations", the Treasury added.

It was announced last week that all Scottish Police officers will receive a £700 pay rise in 2021, alongside a £250 working the pandemic bonus.