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Police: Pay

Volume 704: debated on Thursday 16 October 2008

My right honourable friend the Secretary of State for the Home Department (Jacqui Smith) has made the following Written Ministerial Statement.

On 8 January 2008 I wrote to the Police Negotiating Board (PNB) asking it to consider a multi-year deal for police officers starting in September 2008. In my letter I made clear that, if the PNB agreed to this proposal, then the settlements that form part of such a deal could be implemented in full.

On 15 October 2008 the PNB recommended to me a multi-year pay deal for police officers starting in 2008. This deal is for an award of 2.65 per cent from 1 September 2008, 2.6 per cent from 1 September 2009, and 2.55 per cent from 1 September 2010. This means that by 2010 a police constable will be able to earn up to £36,500, 50 per cent more than in 1997. It includes a reopener clause that would be triggered by changes in the two criteria of economic and labour market conditions and recruitment and retention.

I am pleased that we have agreed a multi-year pay deal for the police that is one of the fairest pay deals in the public sector. All involved in the negotiations have worked hard, and in a spirit of co-operation. I have the highest regard for the police and the tireless work they do to protect and serve the public. This deal gives police officers and their families’ valuable financial certainty for the future and I hope that it will reach their pay packets in full in time for Christmas. This deal will also provide the benefits of stability to the police service, and demonstrates discipline in the face of temporarily high inflation and current economic conditions.

I have also agreed, for the period of this settlement, that the Home Secretary will be bound by a decision of the Police Arbitration Tribunal (PAT) as to whether the re-opening criteria have been met. I would of course carefully consider any recommendation made to me by the PNB or PAT about a subsequent substantive adjustment to the settlement arising from this process.

I confirm that as a result of this agreement I will end the current consultation process for a police pay review body and that the Government will not take any legislative steps to introduce a police pay review body during the lifetime of this Parliament.

I believe that this agreement signals a new stage in the relationship between the two sides of the Police Negotiating Board. I hope that we can now work together to improve policing for both the police service and the public.