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20 November 2020
Following speculation that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may freeze the pay of over 5 million public sector workers in his Spending Review announcement next week, the National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has warned government this would be ‘unforgiveable and a betrayal.’
Mr Apter said: “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.
“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 almost a decade, police officers have suffered an 18% 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.
“I appreciate this is just speculation at this stage, but also know how these stories often come out to test public reaction. Well, let me be clear – a pay freeze is not acceptable, and would be seen as a complete betrayal by this Government.
“Next week, I want to see the Chancellor show his support and thank public sector workers by making clear the speculative reports this week were just that – speculation and not reality.”