Cambridgeshire Police Federation has called on the Government to meet its 17 per cent pay claim after Prime Minister Rishi Sunak issued a warning over public sector increases.
Branch chair Liz Groom said police officers had been hit the hardest of all the emergency services when it came to annual pay settlements over the last two decades and insisted the time had now come to redress the balance.
She said: “Our 17 per pay claim is not unreasonable. We have had years and years of low or zero per cent increases and that has left our members lagging behind colleagues in other blue light services and hardest hit when it comes to the cost of living crisis.
“All we are asking for is a pay rise that brings us back into line with other emergency services personnel while also taking into account the soaring cost of living.
“The real-terms pay cuts have gone on for too long so we are urging the Government to stop using police pay as a tool to fix its economic problems.”
Liz spoke out after Mr Sunak said he would not shy away from making decisions “people may not like” to control inflation.
The Prime Minister said halving inflation by the end of the year was his top priority but it is still high with Consumer Prices Index (CPI) inflation stuck at 8.7 per cent in May.
Mr Sunak has also refused to commit to accepting recommendations for public sector pay rises as part of the Government’s bid to calm the rate of rising prices.
Mr Sunak said inflation was “higher than we’d like” and insisted it was important to “make the right and responsible decisions on things like public sector pay”.
Pay review body recommendations are not legally binding on the Government and, although they are typically accepted, ministers can choose to reject or partially ignore the advice.
This would be a controversial move after the Government defended last year’s below-inflation pay rises by saying it had followed the bodies’ advice.
The Police Federation withdrew its support for the Police Remuneration Review Body (PRRB) and branded it unfit for purpose after the 2021 pay freeze.
The latest skirmish in the long-running pay row comes after the Police Federation announced it would ballot members on whether the organisation should pursue industrial rights on their behalf.