Police Pay

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:19 pm on 9th January 2008.

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Photo of George Young George Young Chair, Standards and Privileges Committee, Chair, Standards and Privileges Committee 3:19 pm, 9th January 2008

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point: the rise in the fuel price has given the Chancellor money for which he did not budget, so to that extent resources are available that he can deploy in that context, with little impact on his original forecast. I think that the Government have the worst of both worlds. They have betrayed an important group of employees for zero impact on inflation.

My final point is that the Government have made a political mistake. Previous Home Secretaries—particularly the somewhat larger ones—would have had a confrontation with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, and would not have agreed to the demand to stage. That would then have escalated into the Cabinet. At that point I suspect that Tony Blair and the Cabinet would have sided with the Home Secretary; the increase would have gone through and the Government would have avoided the pickle that they are in. We are paying the price for the Prime Minister still believing that he is Chancellor, and the absence of substantial counterweights in the Cabinet. My view is that if the present Home Secretary had dug in her heels and threatened to resign over this she would have won. She would have been unsackable in the first few weeks after her appointment had she made an issue out of it. The Government have made a political and economic mistake that I believe they will live to regret.

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David Cropper
Posted on 12 Jan 2008 11:44 pm (Report this annotation)

The Government have made several mistakes re this issue
1) They have broken a longstanding arrangement on the annual increases to be paid to the Police ie: the Tribunals' recommendation that should be honoured, and on time. 2)the true rate of inflation affecting household outgoings is the Retail Price Index (RPI) which is currently around 4% (and this does not include Council Tax hikes?) and not the Consummer Price Index (CPI) currently at approx 2% which Gordon Brown keeps quoting in all arguments. Did you see and hear G Brown's monologue on the Andrew Marr show last Sunday? I lost count of the number of times the Prime Minister told us viewers that 'they' had got inflation down to 2% while the USA was at 4%. I wish Andrew Marr had had the balls to pick him up on this point - but he is employed by the BBC! 3) See today's Daily Mail re the amount of overtime paid last year to the police - much more than the £30m 'saved' by not backdating this years pay increase. The Goverment should tackle this first, the police force are either understaffed or deliberately 'fiddling' the overtime!