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Ministers say they can't automatically support pay body conclusions


Fedster
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Home Secretary and Policing Minister both say they are unable to publicly support whatever position the assessors take.

Sajid Javid at the Police Federation Conference

Sajid Javid at the Police Federation Conference

 

Ministers will not commit to accepting the next set of recommendations of the independent police remuneration body.

Home Secretary Sajid Javid and Policing Minister Nick Hurd were both asked about the issue at the Police Federation Conference.

Last year the body recommended a two per cent pay rise for police officers, but officers were granted a one per cent increase along with a non-pensionable one-off one per cent bonus.

Colin Avis from Cambridgeshire Police Federation asked Mr Javid to answer “yes or no” to his question: “Will you honour any future decision around police pay increases made by the pay review body?”

Mr Javid replied: “It is not in my gift to just decide to honour any increase that’s put forward, that’s not how collective government works. I need to work with my colleagues. What I will absolutely do is I will be looking at it very carefully and see what I can do.

“I wish I could give a one word answer but the truth is it’s an independent body [...] I will have to work with my colleagues to see what I can change.”

The previous day Sussex Police Federation chairman Mick Hume asked Nick Hurd a similar question.

Mr Hurd replied: “I will always argue as Police Minister for fair pay for police officers. Not least because I feel very personally that police officers, and other public sector workers, have been asked to make a really significant contribution.

“[But] any politician will sound cautious about undertaking to accept any recommendations in full that he or she has not yet seen.”

He said that last year “budget holders” said a two per cent pay increase would have caused them problems so the government compromised by not accepting the recommendations in full.

But Labour’s Shadow Policing Minister Louise Haigh said: “The PRRB process is a complete joke.

"You’ve replaced the negotiating board which enabled the Federation and staff representatives to negotiate directly with the government in a reasonable process with a board that you claimed would be independent but then your Chief Secretary to the Treasury has written to them four years in a row to limit them at one per cent, how is that independent?

“How can the Federation have any faith in the process?”

She said a Labour government would either “respect the independence” of the pay body or return to a negotiating position on remuneration.

But Sir Tom Winsor, who designed the PRRB in his review of policing, defended the system.

He said: “The PRRB is independent but I don’t know of any pay review body, [the] armed forces or any other, where ministers automatically accept that whatever they come up with will be automatically implemented.

"It just doesn’t work that way it never does. That doesn’t mean it’s not independent.”

He said the old negotiating system led to "paralysis" in decisions on pay and, ultimately, to his Winsor Review.

The question of MPs’ pay rises came up in both debates with Mr Javid saying: “MPs’ pay is totally independent. It’s an independent decision it has nothing to do with government.”

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17 hours ago, Fedster said:

 

But Sir Tom Winsor, who designed the PRRB in his review of policing, defended the system.

He said: “The PRRB is independent but I don’t know of any pay review body, [the] armed forces or any other, where ministers automatically accept that whatever they come up with will be automatically implemented.

"It just doesn’t work that way it never does. That doesn’t mean it’s not independent.”

He said the old negotiating system led to "paralysis" in decisions on pay and, ultimately, to his Winsor Review.

The question of MPs’ pay rises came up in both debates with Mr Javid saying: “MPs’ pay is totally independent. It’s an independent decision it has nothing to do with government.”

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It has everything to do with Government. 

It's frankly a ridiculous comment and the dishonesty over the MP pay rises has left me seething.

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