Police and prison officers in England & Wales are to receive a public sector cap breaking pay rise.
The raise is being funded from existing budgets, and that’s angered police chiefs: they’ve already had to make big cuts to their forces. Now, they’ll have to make more.
And the police union chief called it a “pay cut.” Officers were earning 15% more in 2010.
The UK inflation rate is now 2.9%
That means the rise doesn’t mean a real terms increase in salary for officers.
But at least it’s something. And it signals a slight change in government thinking.
“A flexible approach”
There’s government talk that the cap could be loosened when they want to attract or retain staff in a particular department. However, don’t expect it to be breached liberally.
Meanwhile, the UK’s biggest union, Unite, has threatened strikes. They’ve seen the cap breach as an opportunity to press for its wholesale disregard. They want other public sector workers to be given raises.
And after the rise announcement, Labour, with Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) help, passed a parliamentary non-binding motion that called for the cap’s death.
The DUP are responsible for keeping Prime Minister May’s Conservatives in power. Whilst this move doesn’t spoil their relationship, it shows that the DUP could prevent the government from implementing policy that it disagrees with.