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Surrey Police Federation hits out at Government penny-pinching over public sector pay

28 June 2023

Surrey Police Federation has hit out at the Government’s selective penny-pinching over public sector pay.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak hinted that he may plan to block upcoming proposals from public sector pay bodies in an attempt to tackle soaring inflation earlier this month.

But police officers are already 17% worse off than comparable workers due to years of pay freezes, Surrey Police Federation Chair Darren Pemble warned.

He said: “This Government is awfully selective over what it can spend money on and what it can’t afford. When it suits the Government, it is happy to spend money, but when hard-working public-sector workers need money for a cost-of-living crisis they will use any excuse not to shell out.

“The fact that officers are relying on loans, food banks and second jobs just to get by is a damning indictment on this Government’s lack of respect for the public sector.”

Independent research by a non-partisan organisation, Social Market Foundation (SMF), found that real terms police pay has fallen almost 20 per cent behind inflation between 2000 and 2022, according to the Police Federation of England and Wales.

This makes the police an outlier among protective services workers, public sector workers, and all other workers, with the report showing that these groups enjoyed real term pay rises over this period of 1 per cent, 14 per cent and 5 per cent, respectively. Also, and over the same period, MPs salaries rose from £48,371 to £84,144

Earlier this month at the National Council meeting, the Police Federation of England and Wales voted to ballot members on whether the organisation should pursue industrial rights on behalf of our membership. The National Board will now explore what industrial rights could mean for our members.