The Home Secretary should award police officers the 2.8% pay uplift requested by the Police Federation of England and Wales this year, Amber Rudd has been told.
Steve White addressed the issue at the annual conference in Birmingham, where he warned the Police Federation “will not shy away” from protesting this summer if the new Government does not support police and #ProtectTheProtectors.
The Federation Chairman said: “Do you realise that a new recruit will only be taking home approximately £1,300 a month? By the time they pay rent, council tax, utility bills, food and travel, their disposable income is probably less than £100 a month.”
“And if they have a family, then God help them; It’ll be food banks each night.”
Mr White said the Home Secretary should “remove the shackles” from the Police Remuneration Review Body by abolishing the 1 per cent pay cap on public sector pay rises.
The Police Federation has requested a 2.8 per cent increase, which Mr White told the conference, would cost the Government £90 million.
“I’m sure of my figures. While that may sound like a lot, in the scheme of Government budgets it’s negligible. And that increase would be just to stand still so that we don’t lose even more than the real terms decrease in pay of 15% that we have already suffered.
“Yet all the while demand, danger and daft ideas make life even harder for our members.”
Despite pleas for more cash, Home Secretary Amber Rudd would not commit to injecting more funds into the service or police pay, adding: “We made sure the police budget was protected from 2015/19. it is not good for communities if we are running a weak economy.
“I don’t want to make misleading commitments about pay. We are still living in a time when the Government is borrowing £58 billion a year. We have to get those numbers down, pay off the deficit and get back to a stronger economy.”
An officer told her:
“We have a force welfare fund which is a charity and we have police officers come to us for vouchers to put food on the table or put fuel in the car to come to work.”
Simon Newport, Chairman of North Wales Police Federation, told the Home Secretary:
“The starting salary for an MP is £75,000. Starting salary for officer is £19,500. We are seeing police officers using food banks and looking for help from welfare support.”
Hampshire Police Federation Chairman John Apter told her about the poverty among officers in his force. “In my force we have a police welfare fund for so they can put food on the table or fuel in their car.
“So the quote you used about doing what’s right for the country, is that right?”