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20 February 2020
The National Chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has written to the new Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak requesting a meeting to discuss the need for changes to the way the police service is funded.
Mr Sunak was appointed to the influential role after the shock resignation of Sajid Javid during Boris Johnson’s cabinet reshuffle last week.
In his letter Mr Apter said: “I would welcome the opportunity to meet and discuss several issues with you, including the merits and benefits to the public of longer-term funding settlements for policing, as well as sharing police officers’ views about the current funding formula mechanism.”
Mr Apter also highlighted “the unfair tax implication by HMRC on police officers, who are compensated by their force while awaiting awarded compensation by courts under the Powers of Criminal Courts (Sentencing) Act 2000”.
Under the current system, forces often pay officers who have been assaulted the compensation they are due directly instead of waiting for renumeration to come via the courts, as this can often be significantly delayed. However, the money paid out by the force is taxed, resulting in the effective penalisation of officers who have already suffered an assault in the line of duty.
The pressure will be on the new Chancellor as he is due to deliver his maiden budget on 11 March; and with the Government still to commit to a date for its Comprehensive Spending Review which has been delayed several times already.
Mr Apter added: “The Chancellor has the power to make a significant difference to the lives of police officers and the public they serve.
“Of course we welcome the promise of 20,000 more officers but policing is not just about officer numbers. This uplift must be accompanied by significant, long-term investment. And this is at the top of the list of things I want to discuss with him."