Freezing the pay of millions of public sector workers – including police officers – would be a betrayal of their hard work in the effort to combat Covid-19, the Chairman of the Defence Police Federation has said.
It has been widely reported today that the Government is considering announcing a public sector pay freeze in next week’s Spending Review to cover the UK’s deficit in the wake of the coronavirus lockdown. Eamon Keating, Chair of the Defence Police Federation, said: “During this pandemic our officers have continued, unabated, to work and protect the nation.
“We have lost officers to this illness and yet continue to work at a risk to our own safety. This is, if true, a real betrayal. The second freeze on our pay in 10 years and it would be a scandalous way to treat police officers for their hard work and sacrifice is during this pandemic.”
During the last recession, from 2011, public sector workers were subjected to a pay freeze and then a pay cap for a number of years.
This resulted in an 18% real-terms pay cut for hard working police officers.
When questioned, the Treasury declined to comment on the reports but pointed to language used by Rishi Sunak in a letter about the Spending Review in July.
The letter outlined that in the “interest of fairness we must exercise restraint in future public sector pay awards, ensuring that across this year and the spending review period, public sector pay levels retain parity with the private sector”.
It has been reported that nurses and doctors will be exempt from the future pay freeze.