Police forces may reach breaking point because of the increase in officers’ pay, Labour’s shadow policing minister has claimed.
Louise Haigh said the announcement by the Government would entail a “further cut” to forces’ budgets and asked whether they would be expected to “run down their general reserves” to fund staffing costs.
In an urgent question on the 2017/18 police pay settlement and funding, she said: “The Government has been on warning for some time that the police is nearing breaking point – today we are telling them this move may finally break them.”
Ms Haigh accused the Government of not accepting the pay review body’s recommendations in full, by offering a “1% pay rise and a 1%, one-off, non-consolidated payment that is non-pensionable”.
She said the plans were “unfunded” and would cost the Metropolitan Police £17.7 million, while West Yorkshire and West Midlands estimated they could lose 80 frontline officers as a result.
Ms Haigh also said the “vast majority” of police reserves were “earmarked for projected spending and only £363 million remains in general reserves”.
“Could the minister therefore confirm if they are actually requiring police forces to run down their general reserves to fund staffing costs and if she considers this fiscally responsible?”