North East Herts MP Oliver Heald has asked the Leader of the House of Commons, Harriet Harman MP, for a debate and vote on the Government’s decision to break the Police pay agreement.
Oliver Heald’s Question to the Leader of the House and Rt Hon Harriet Harman’s reply follow:-
Mr. Oliver Heald (North-East Hertfordshire) (Con):Can we have a debate in Government time on early-day motion 512, or a similar motion, that would give us a chance to vote on the Government’s decision to dishonour the police pay agreement?
[That this House is disappointed by the failure of the Government to accept in full the recommendations of the Police Arbitration Tribunal police pay award; believes that the pay settlement should be backdated to 1( st) September; notes that the police are the front line in the fight against organised crime, terrorism and anti-social behaviour; recognises that their work puts them at great personal risk; further believes that this dispute over 0.6 per cent. difference is petty and needless; and calls upon the Government to reconsider its decision.]
Does she agree that we owe it to the 22,000 people who came to Westminster yesterday-those of us who went to the rally saw how passionately they feel about this breach of trust-to have a debate and a vote in this House about such an important matter? That agreement has lasted 28 years, and it is a disgrace for the Government to break it in this way.
Ms Harman:I pay tribute to the work of the police. Their pay has increased ahead of inflation since we came into government. The Prime Minister has said that we would like to pay them even more, and I think we would all agree with that. However, we must ensure that there is no risk of inflation. We hope in future to secure an agreement with the police on a three-year pay settlement-but legally, police pay is a matter to be determined by the Home Secretary.