Police Pay Negotiations

– in the Scottish Parliament on 22nd June 2022.

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Photo of Jeremy Balfour Jeremy Balfour Conservative

6. To ask the Scottish Government whether it will provide an update on police pay negotiations. (S6O-01257)

Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

The police negotiating board’s process is on-going in relation to police officer pay for 2022-23. In line with police negotiating board protocols, it is not appropriate for me to comment on that. The Scottish Government is, of course, involved in officer pay negotiations, alongside the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland, as part of the PNB’s official side. Police staff pay is negotiated under a separate process to officer pay, and it is a matter for the Scottish Police Authority and Police Scotland, in consultation with trade unions, at their joint national consultative committee.

Photo of Jeremy Balfour Jeremy Balfour Conservative

The Scottish National Party Government has broken its manifesto promise to protect the police budget in real terms, and hard-working police will pay the price for that. I have an answer to a freedom of information request that shows that last year’s police pay settlement cost Police Scotland £14.5 million, which is less than the £20 million that the SNP Government is proposing to spend on another independence referendum. Would the cabinet secretary rather the SNP Government spends £20 million on police pay or on another referendum that Scotland does not want?

Photo of Keith Brown Keith Brown Scottish National Party

I say to Jeremy Balfour that that is factually incorrect. Unless he has the ability to foresee what the budget is going to be, we have not broken any commitment—but we will not let the facts get in the way of a headline.

The wage increase that police officers in Scotland were awarded last year was an increase of more than 2 per cent. What did police officers in England and Wales get from the Tories? Nothing—an increase of zero. That is the way the Tories treat police officers. It is also true that Jeremy Balfour should realise that the budget that we receive is 5.2 per cent down this year—there has been a 5.2 per cent cut to the budget by the Conservatives. [

Interruption

.] I know that members do not like to hear that, but the Tories cut the budget in Scotland by 5.2 per cent at the same time as their economic mismanagement of the economy has led to 9.1 per cent inflation. The Tories are the cause of problems for all sorts of public sector workers across the country.

We will continue to do as much as we can for the police, and we have a very good record of doing that. For example, a police officer who is starting in Scotland has a starting salary of more than £26,000, whereas one starting under Tory England and Wales will be paid £21,000. That is the way we are looking after the police.