At Prime Minister’s Questions today (Wednesday), Michael Fabricant asked
Prime Minister Gordon Brown whether it is right that police officers in
Scotland received their full pay award while police officers in England
did not. Michael Fabricant says now "The Prime Minister gave a long
waffling answer, but he did not answer my question about the
differential in police pay between England and Scotland and whether it
is right. To me, it is clearly wrong that the pay award agreed by the
independent Police Arbitration Tribunal has not been honoured. It is
made worse by the fact that police officers in Scotland have received
the full pay award."
Michael Fabricant (Lichfield) (Con): A police officer in Linlithgow is
now paid more than a police officer in Lichfield for doing exactly the
same job. Is that fair? Is that right?
The Prime Minister: What is happening in Scotland is this: to pay the
police more, the planned increase of 500 policemen has been suspended. I
know what my constituents and the hon. Gentleman’s constituents would
prefer-that there were police on the streets. We have more police in
this country on the streets, helping us, than at any time in our
history. I more than anybody would like to be able to say to the police
that we could pay their wages and their salary rise in full, but I have
to say to them that no policeman and no person across the country would
thank us if their pay rise was wiped out by inflation-and no party
should know that better than the Opposition, given that there was 10 per
cent. inflation in the 1990s. That is why the awards are being staged.
Over the last 10 years, police pay has risen by 39 per cent., and by 9
per cent. in real terms. We have managed to combine that with having
rises in police numbers and the biggest police force in history. That is
the policy of the Government.
Michael Fabricant comments: "Much of the increase in police numbers
that Gordon Brown talks about is due to the recruitment of community
support officers who do not have the same powers or training as regular