Lack of NI ministers 'hits police pay'

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Police officerImage source, PA
Image caption,
Police officers in England and Wales are set for a 1% bonus on top of a rise in their pay

The Police Federation for Northern Ireland has called on the Secretary of State to take action to deliver a pay award to thousands of officers.

The cap on public sector pay rises in England and Wales is to be lifted.

The announcement came as the government said police officers would get a 1% rise plus a 1% bonus.

But the federation's chairman said PSNI officers would not get a pay rise in September as no NI ministers are in place to approve any deal.

Officers in England and Wales will get their pay rise and bonus backdated to the start of the month.

'Disgust and disappointment'

Police Federation NI Chairman Mark Lindsay said that in the past, pay parity had been maintained with England and Wales, but that expectation can no longer be taken for granted.

"Much to our disgust and disappointment there has been no such award relating to police officer pay for Northern Ireland," said Mr Lindsay.

"The sole reason for this is the absence of a devolved administration, which requires consideration for any recommendations by both a justice minister and a finance minister.

"In addition, there is currently no legislative process in place in Northern Ireland to sign off any element of an award.

Image caption,
Mark Lindsay said the absence of an executive is stopping PSNI officers getting a pay rise like their colleagues in England and Wales

"The Department of Justice is in possession of the Pay Review Body recommendations relating to police pay in Northern Ireland, but a decision has been made at permanent secretary level not to share these recommendations prior to a minister having sight of same.

"In the absence of a Northern Ireland Executive, we have written to the secretary of state urging him to enact legislation which enables critical decisions pertinent to the effective running of Northern Ireland to be taken in the absence of local ministers.

"We would also seek assurances that any increase for officers in Northern Ireland be backdated to the 1 September 2017."

Mr Lindsay said the federation would continue to pursue all avenues to ensure that the recommendations of the Pay Review Body for Northern Ireland were implemented "without any undue delays".