Police accuse Theresa May of ‘downright lie’ on pay hike claim
Police have accused Theresa May of telling a “downright lie” after she claimed officers have received an effective 32% pay rise since 2010.
The Prime Minister said pay hikes for promotions, alongside basic salary increases and rises in the income tax threshold, had seen a real terms wages growth of £9,000 for officers since 2010.
But Calum Macleod, the vice chair of the Police Federation, said the comment showed the Government had “lost touch with reality”.
It comes after the 1% public sector pay cap was lifted for police officers - who are now in line for a 1% lump sum and a 1% rise in 2017/18.
Mrs May made the claim as she addressed MPs in the Commons during Prime Minister's Questions this afternoon.
She said: “A calculation suggests a new police officer in 2010, thanks to progression pay and annual basic salary increases, an increase the personal allowance which is a tax cut for people, has actually seen an increase in their pay of £9,000 since 2010 - a real terms increase of 32%.”
But Mr Macleod told HuffPost UK: “The Government stating that police officers have had a 32% pay rise since 2010 is a joke – and is in fact a downright lie.
“It shows they have lost touch with reality, if they ever had it, and are clueless as to the demands and dangers officers have to face on a daily basis to keep communities safe.
"Officers are struggling to keep their heads above water and all we are asking for is fair recognition."
He added: “When comparing total pay in 2015/16 to what it was in 2009/10 it has increased in nominal terms by +2%, but decreased by -16% in real terms. This cannot be right.
“We expect police officers to run in to the face of danger every day to protect the public however the Government refuses to give them the money they deserve."
A No.10 spokesman said Mrs May’s comment was “an example of a typical police officer”.
He said: “There are some people at the top of their band, it would be a minority, and for those who have hit the top of their pay band, progression pay, [the 32% figure] wouldn’t necessarily apply.”
When the spokesman was asked why police officers were receiving a pay rise when they had already had a 32% hike, he said: “The PM has said on any number of occasions how much she values the contribution of public sector workers.
"She thinks they do an extraordinary job and they do do an extraordinary job in what are often testing times.”