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Autumn Budget 2021: Public sector pay freeze lifted

Chancellor Rishi Sunak has announced a planned increase in pay for public sector workers in the Budget.

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak has delivered his latest Budget in the House of Commons, outlining the Government’s plans for taxation and public spending for the year ahead.

The announcement featured a number of measures relevant to Police Officers and Staff, including the confirmation of an increase in public sector pay.

Public pay freeze scrapped

As had been widely reported before the Budget was officially announced, the Government is set to increase pay for public sector workers next year.

This follows the one-year pay freeze that has been in effect for 2021, as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic and the impact it’s had on the British economy.

However, it’s worth noting that the extent of the increase isn’t clear yet. The amount by which Police Officers and Staff will see their pay go up next year will depend on advice from the Police Remuneration Review Body, which advises the Government on pay and conditions for Officers at or below the rank of Chief Superintendent.

You can find the most up-to-date information on what Police Officers earn in our 2021-22 Police Pay Scales guide, which shows annual salaries and allowances for every rank from Constable to Commissioner.

When considering the real impact of any change in your pay, you’ll also want to think about rising living costs and inflation (see below). With the prices of basic goods going up, many people might not feel the benefits of higher wages in their day-to-day life.

In its response to the Budget, the Police Federation of England and Wales (PFEW) stressed the importance of Police pay going up in line with inflation, so Officers and Staff “receive a fair wage for an increasingly difficult job”.

PFEW national vice-chair Che Donald added: “As well as a real-term pay increase, we urgently need a fair pay mechanism which is independent of government interference and delivers a binding outcome to restore trust and faith in the Police pay process.”

What else was in the Budget?

Speaking in the House of Commons, Mr Sunak said the Budget provides funding for the Government’s ambition to recruit 20,000 new Police Officers.

In a separate announcement, the Home Office said an additional 11,053 Officers have been hired across England and Wales so far as part of the Police Uplift Programme.

Elsewhere in the Budget, it was revealed that everyone living in the UK can expect to see higher prices in the coming year. Inflation hit 3.1% in September and is expected to rise to an average of 4% in the next year.

Other headline announcements included:

  • An additional £2.2 billion will be made available for courts, prisons and probation services.
  • A planned rise in duties on spirits, wine, cider and beer has been scrapped.
  • A potential increase in fuel duty has also been cancelled following the recent upturn in pump prices.

As far as the property market is concerned, £24 billion has been set aside for housing, including £11.5 billion for up to 180,000 affordable homes. This could be welcome news for Police Officers and Staff planning to buy their first property.

If the Budget has got you thinking about your own financial situation and your plans for the future, you might be interested in the upcoming Talk Money Week (November 8th-12th 2021). This event focuses on the benefits of having conversations about all sorts of financial matters, from managing debt to getting into better savings habits.

You can also book a one-to-one meeting with Metfriendly if you’re interested in talking specifically about your financial options at this point in your life and Police career.

Book a one-to-one meeting

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