Freezing police officers’ pay would be complete hypocrisy, according to the chair of Cambridgeshire Police Federation.
Liz Groom was speaking following speculation that Chancellor Rishi Sunak may announce plans to freeze the pay of more than five million public sector workers in next week’s Comprehensive Spending Review.
“While I appreciate that this is purely speculation at this stage and that the country is in economic shock, I believe a public sector pay freeze is totally unacceptable. It is no way to reward our officers and other public sector workers and will be seen as a complete betrayal by this Government,” she says,
“The Government must do what’s right next week and voice its support and appreciation for the efforts of public sector workers during the pandemic. Anything less risks destroying morale when the entire country is counting on them.”
The imminent launch of the Chancellor’s savings drive comes as Government spending soars in response to the coronavirus pandemic with over £40 billion spent on subsidising the wages of nearly 10 million workers through the furlough scheme.
This is expected to cost billions more, on top of more than £210 billion spent on emergency response to the pandemic. And borrowing is expected to surge to over £400 billion this year.
But the national chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales, John Apter, has also warned the Government that the move would be ‘unforgiveable’.
He says: “Given the personal sacrifices made by public sector workers during this pandemic and following years of public sector pay freezes, such a move would be morally bankrupt. My colleagues deserve much more.
“Ministers have thanked and celebrated key workers in the public sector during the pandemic, even clapping on doorsteps to show their support. To penalise these same workers would be complete hypocrisy.
“I sincerely hope the Chancellor chooses to show his support for police officers and other public sector workers next week and that these early reports are merely speculative.”