The row over the police pay deal escalated yesterday as it emerged police in Scotland will get a better deal than colleagues south of the border.
Police in Scotland will receive the full increase of 2.5% according to Scotland’s justice minister Kenny MacAskill, compared to an effective 1.9% rise for officers in England and Wales, after the home secretary’s decision not to backdate the pay increase to September.
In a letter to chancellor Alistair Darling, obtained by the Daily Telegraph, Smith said it would be “clearly helpful” if a similar stance was adopted in Scotland.
But MacAskill instead promised officers in Scotland would receive the increase in full, and that it would be backdated.
Jan Berry, the chairman of the Police Federation, said last night: “If the government want a fight, they have got a fight.”
Earlier this year, a police petition to stop the Home Office interfering in pay deals gained tens of thousands of signatures, but the home secretary insisted on setting up a new negotiating mechanism to replace one that has been around for more than 20 years.
Fresh calls for strike action by police officers, although still illegal, were on the cards because of the “disappointing” pay deal. Police officers would be balloted for strike action over this year’s pay deal if they were not banned from doing so, Berry warned.