The police wage bill is £11 billion and this is around 75% of total spending. The real cuts being made aren’t as advertised – the bulk of the savings are ‘back door’ through the inflation being stoked up through QE and our farcical focus on financial services and the speculative economy. If we are lucky, two years down the line the average cop wage will be worth 20% less than last year. The cuts themselves are typical of the tinkering done across the public sector. Wages generally have been in decline since the 1970s. If one was able to price police pay to market, they would be much lower – perhaps 30% less. I’m not advocating this, just pointing to the obvious market conditions. I don’t believe much if any of the pay targeted at the front line will get there.
The situation is almost the reverse of that in the late 60’s when police pay had fallen way behind in an environment of generally rising wages. We threatened and later voted for strike action then. Hard to justify in these circumstances. The only way to get higher wages is it insist on them across the board and for full employment.
The current offer is no or less business-as-usual and doesn’t represent the kind of radical overhaul the CJS needs. Cops will be less well off like the rest of us except the rich top 10%. This is what most of them voted for, though one expects they didn’t know as it would have happened if Labour had won.
Our force showed no signs of knowing who its best officers were and who among them was prepared to concoct criminal lies to cover their bad work. I have no faith in performance based pay when such basics are not entertained.