Freezing police pay would be a ‘deep and damaging betrayal'

The chair of the Police Federation of England and Wales has warned the Government that freezing the pay of police officers at the end of the Covid-19 pandemic to assist the country’s financial recovery would be a slap in the face for all those who have worked to maintain law and order during the lockdown.

May 13, 2020
By Tony Thompson
PFEW Chair John Apter

John Apter spoke out after documents leaked to the Daily Telegraph suggested the Government is considering tax rises and a two-year freeze on all public sector pay to mitigate damage to the economy caused by the coronavirus crisis.

Writing on Twitter, he said: “Have seen media reports about potential plans to help the financial recovery post #COVID19. Part of these reports include the possible freezing pay for the public sector. Although these are only media reports I want to make it absolutely clear what my views are.

“The last recession we went through saw public sector workers subject to a pay freeze and then a pay cap for a number of years, this saw my colleagues see a real terms 18 per cent pay cut. This had a crippling effect on many public sector workers.

“In this current global crisis which has affected so many people, it has been colleagues from the public sector who have stepped up to save lives, protect the public and keep the country moving. Often putting themselves at risk and making personal sacrifices.

“Police officers, doctors, nurses, paramedics, prison officers, teachers, firefighters and many, many more have been the glue which has held us together in this crisis. If there is any consideration in financially punishing our public sector workers then I urge a rethink.

“The Chancellor Rishi Sunak and thousands of others have clapped for our key workers every Thursday. To even consider freezing the pay of our essential public sector workers to help the financial recovery would be morally bankrupt and would be a deep and damaging betrayal.”

He added: “I completely understand the enormous financial pressures that the Government will be under as a result of the crisis, and there will be those who say that we must all take a share of the pain. But to put a pay freeze on the very people who have helped this country through this crisis would be hypocritical and grossly offensive.”

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