The Deputy Mayor of Greater Manchester has challenged Ministers to ‘pay up for our police service’ and fully fund today’s pay increase announcement.
Beverley Hughes was speaking in response to the welcome announcement that police officers are to receive a 2% pay award in 2018/19. However, unless the Home Office increases local policing budgets this year, this announcement will pass on a further burden to local communities.
Deputy Mayor Beverley Hughes said: “Ministers’ support for our police has amounted to little more than words so far, as Greater Manchester Police faces an eighth year of real terms cut.
“On the face of it a pay increase for police officers is good news, but as always the devil is in the detail. The Government’s statements of support for our police service will ring hollow if they choose to push the price of today’s pay increase on to local residents.
“Whilst their public statements make it look like Government departments will provide the additional funding to cover these costs, the reality is that right now our police grant isn’t due to increase.
“This would place an added pressure on local police budgets at a time when we are already struggling to balance the books, and means that local taxpayers are once again left to foot the bill.”
If the Home Office fails to increase police funding this year, today’s announcement equates to an additional cost of £2.9m for GMP. Although silent on police staff and PSCOs, if the pay increase is across the service this means an additional £4.3m per year – the equivalent of 86 police officers.
Beverley Hughes added: “I urge the Chancellor and the Home Secretary to make good on today’s announcement, and pay up for our Police service.
“This is an opportunity for Ministers to show they are truly supportive of our police officers, and take a step – albeit a small one - towards fair and proper funding.”