We have announced that, in prisons where recruitment and retention are most difficult, we will offer a combination of higher starting pay and an additional allowance of up to £5,000 a year, taking the salary of officers in those jails to up to £30,000. The relevant trade unions were advised in advance.
The hon. Gentleman makes an important point. We want to make sure that our hard-working prison officers are well rewarded. Our announcement on 19 February, to which he refers, was specifically designed to tackle jails where it is very hard to recruit because of the high cost of living in their particular market. This year’s pay award for all prison staff is a matter for the independent pay review body, to which we will submit evidence shortly.