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Merseyside Police Funding — [Sir Edward Leigh in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:42 pm on 19th February 2019.

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Photo of Victoria Atkins Victoria Atkins The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department, Minister for Women 3:42 pm, 19th February 2019

We have been conscious of the impact that the rule changes would have on constabularies. That was discussed in 2016, I think, and there was an expectation that forces would be able to go some way to ameliorating the increase. Following the conversations that the Policing Minister had with chief constables, we have secured more money from the Treasury to try to cover the majority of that pension increase. I accept that a proportion still falls on local forces, but we have managed to secure some assistance towards the overall cost.

I will ask the Policing Minister to write to the hon. Gentleman about next year. We are working towards the comprehensive spending review and I imagine that the message from this debate and others will be heard loud and clear by the Policing Minister and, importantly, by the Treasury.

I return to the fact that we have tried to increase police funding; last year, we increased it by up to £460 million. Contrary to allegations from Opposition Members, I have always been clear that it has been with the help of police and crime commissioners that we have helped, as a society, to inject that further money into policing.

Similarly, this year, we are injecting up to £970 million more, again with the help of police and crime commissioners. That is why I am pleased that the police and crime commissioner for Merseyside has conducted her consultation, won the support of more than 74% of respondents for her proposals, and can raise council tax by £2 per month on band D households.