Police and prison officers to get a pay rise above 1%

12 Sep 17

The government has announced the first public sector pay rise above 1% in seven years - but the increase is still below inflation.

Today the cabinet agreed to give prison officers a 1.7% rise while police will get a 1% pay rise plus a 1% bonus for the year, paid for from existing departmental budgets.

Although, the rise in pay is still below the UK’s rate of inflation, which stands at 2.9%, according to official figures also out today. This means prison officers and police will still see a real-terms cut in earnings.

Chief secretary to Treasury Liz Truss said: "We will continue to ensure that the overall package for public sector workers recognises their vital contribution and ensures that we can deliver world class public services, while also being affordable and fair to taxpayers as a whole."

Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales,

Steve White, chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, noted that officers had asked for a 2.8% pay rise.

“We were not greedy in what we asked for. Officers have been taking home about 15% less than they were seven years ago,” he said.

“While it is a step in the right direction, the government should have done this sooner but we don’t feel that non-consolidated pay awards are the way forward.”

Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: “It's a tiny step in the right direction but not nearly enough."

Frances O’Grady, TUC general secretary, labelled the below inflation pay offer “pathetic”.

She called for the cap to be lifted across the public sector.

In response to the government’s announcement, the Taxpayers’ Alliance, a right-wing think-tank, called on the government to scrap nationalised pay bargaining.

John O’Connell, TPA chief executive, said: “As long as public sector pay rates are set nationally, public sector workers will be relatively underpaid in some areas and relatively overpaid in others.”

Public sector pay was frozen for two years in 2010. It was then capped at a 1% increase.

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