Posted: Wed 25th Nov 2020

North Wales Police Federation slams ‘disgraceful’ pay freeze for officers

News and Info from Deeside, Flintshire, North Wales
This article is old - Published: Wednesday, Nov 25th, 2020

The North Wales Police Federation has slammed a pay freeze for public sector workers as “disgraceful”.

UK Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced today that there would be no increase to wages for most key workers as part of his spending plans, which he insisted would result in more money for health, education and the police.

He said a pay rise for police officers would be “paused” until next year, although the decision will not impact those in the NHS and those earning under £24,000, who will get a rise.

The staff association for officers in North Wales described the move to freeze pay for police as “an insult”.

In a sternly worded tweet, it said: “Happy to clap on the steps of Downing Street, happy to gush with praise when police officers risk their lives but this is what we will all remember.

“It is disgraceful and a complete insult to police officers across the country.”

Unison has claimed the freeze represents a return to austerity – an accusation which Mr Sunak denied.

General secretary Dave Prentis said: “This is austerity plain and simple. A decade of spending cuts left public services exposed when Covid came calling. The government is making the same disastrous mistake again.

“Going after the pay of millions will be a bitter pill for key workers getting the UK through the pandemic and out the other side.

“The Chancellor wants to pause the pay of care, school, council and other public service workers who’ve been on fast forward all year.”

Mr Sunak has today warned that UK unemployment figures could jump to 2.6 million by the middle of next year.

His Spending Review was announced with the Chancellor stating that the nation’s economic emergency had “only just begun”.

It comes after government spending has dramatically increased in light of the Covid-19 pandemic, despite tax income reducing.

Mr Sunak said he would find it difficult to justify a widespread public sector pay increase when private sector wages were falling.

He said: “Today’s statistics remind us of something else: coronavirus has deepened the disparity between public and private sector wages.

“In the six months to September, private sector wages fell by nearly 1% compared to last year. Over the same period, public sector wages rose by nearly 4%.

“And unlike workers in the private sector, who have lost jobs, been furloughed, seen wages cut, and hours reduced, the public sector has not.

“In such a difficult context for the private sector – especially for those people working in sectors like retail, hospitality, and leisure I cannot justify a significant, across-the-board pay increase for all public sector workers.

“Instead, we are targeting our resources at those who need it most.”

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