Handing police officers a pay rise is under “active discussion” within government, the police minister has confirmed.
Nick Hurd told MPs today he wanted to make sure officers were “paid fairly for their work”.
Theresa May is under pressure from senior Tories, including Boris Johnson, to lift the 1% pay cap imposed on public sector workers.
Hurd told the Commons today: “We want to make sure that frontline public service workers, including the police, are paid fairly for their work, not least because of the contribution that they have made over the years to reducing the deficit that we inherited from the party opposite.
“How we do that, in a way that is sustainable and affordable, is under active discussion.”
Hurd was responding to Labour’s Louise Haigh, the newly appointed shadow policing minister, who pressed him on whether police officers deserved a “real terms pay cut” until 2020.
Downing Street today insisted there is no change in the government’s policy on the public sector pay cap.
“The position is exactly as it was set out last week, in that there are pay review bodies reporting,” the prime minister’s official spokesman said.
“We have responded to some, and we will respond to others in due course, as is normal later this year.”
Recommendations for 1% pay rises for 2017/18 for nurses, doctors, dentists and members of the armed forces have already been accepted by ministers.
But further recommendations are still to come from review bodies dealing with teachers, police, senior civil servants and prison officers, potentially allowing Philip Hammond to be more generous to these groups in his autumn Budget.
Former Tory chancellor Lord Lamont told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme this morning that austerity should not be eased.
“People are talking about austerity as though it were an issue of too many repeats on television or they had got tired of watching Poldark and wanted a better programme,” he said.
“This is not a choice. It is unavoidable that we have restraint on public spending.”
Former Conservative work and pensions secretary and leadership candidate Stephen Crabb today also told the BBC the party needed to be seen to be “on the side” of public sector workers.
“We can’t fight another general election campaign where the Conservatives are seen as the bogeymen when it comes to public sector workers,” he said.