90 days from today is Fri, 28 April 2023
3 March 2022
Police officers – subject to a brutal Government pay freeze since 2020 – have reacted with a mixture of astonishment and anger to the news that MPs are being granted a 2.7% pay rise.
All MPs will get a £2,212 pay hike on 1 April, seeing an MP's basic salary go up to £84,144 a year.
Over the past 10 years due to ‘austerity’ based pay freezes and subsequent below inflation pay rises, police officer pay has fallen in real terms by 20% behind the cost of living.
Unlike nurses and firefighters, police officers were given no pay rise in 2021 with the public cost of the Covid-19 pandemic blamed by the Treasury.
Now household bills are rising sharply and National Insurance is going up in April – the same week MPs will receive their rise.
Officers have reacted to the news with fury – especially as the Independent Parliamentary Standards Authority, which sets MP salaries, said the politicians should be paid fairly for the responsibilities they carried, which ‘dramatically increased’ during the pandemic.
Andy Symonds, Chair of Norfolk Police Federation, said: “Officers deserve an inflation proof pay rise this year after getting ZERO last year from this Government. Officers want to be treated with fairness and over the last 12 years we've been treated with contempt by this Government.
“We don't have a truly independent pay review system unlike the MPs who do with the body called IPSA whose terms cannot be set by anybody - this is independent. The police pay review body have their terms of reference set by the Government, not only this but any decision the pay review body makes is not binding and can be ignored or amended by the Government if they don't like what has been recommended.
“IPSA have no such restrictions and the Government cannot ignore or amend their recommendations on pay awards.
“An MP’s salary in 2009 was £64,766. In 2009 a student police officer was paid £22,715. In 2022 an MP’s salary will be £84,144. In 2022 a student police officer in Norfolk will be paid £24,780.
“An MP’s salary is up by £19,378. A Police Officer’s salary is up by £2,065.
“One rule for them and one rule one for us.”
In May 2021 the Police Federation withdrew from the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) after recommendations from the body were once again disregarded by the Government, seeing officers with no uplift in pay despite the efforts and challenges faced during the Covid-19 pandemic.
The Police Federation of England & Wales has filed an application for Judicial Review alongside Chief Police Officers’ Staff Association (CPOSA) and the Police Superintendents’ Association (PSA) calling for a truly independent pay mechanism for police officer pay.
Andy added: “It is highly offensive to me and my colleagues that the justification for the MP’s pay rise this year is that their workload has dramatically increased over the last year. It might very well be that case that they’re workload has increased. But so too have the workloads of officers who’ve policed the front line of this pandemic.
“The reason why it’s offensive is that officers have seen over the last 12 years a steady stream of pay freezes and pay caps which has meant officers have lost out financially compared to many other sectors and in particular when you look at the pay awards given to MPs it sticks in our throats that its one rule for them and another for us.”