MP’s fight for police pensions
THE cost of police pensions has led an MP to raise his grave concerns to the Home Secretary. Oliver Heald, MP for North East Herts, says that the current funding proposal for Hertfordshire Police will put a strain on the service and asks for the matter of
THE cost of police pensions has led an MP to raise his grave concerns to the Home Secretary.
Oliver Heald, MP for North East Herts, says that the current funding proposal for Hertfordshire Police will put a strain on the service and asks for the matter of pensions to be given further thought.
The current proposal would create a deficit of £4.4 million to be met through cuts or additional council tax payments, over and above a five per cent increase in council tax.
Mr Heald suggests that the cost of police pensions is part of the problem and has asked Home Secretary Charles Clarke to look at whether some help could be given to tackle the issue.
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He said: "Last year the settlement was £4 million less than necessary and the same has happened this year.
"I do hope that it will be possible for the Government to listen and act.
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"The effect of budget cuts in an area like ours is likely to reduce police visibility at a time when the opposite is what is needed."
A Hertfordshire Police Authority spokesman said: "Effectively we have received a general grant cash increase of only £1,567,000, or 1.4 per cent, which is well below the rate of inflation, and less than half of the 3.2 per cent national average.
"The basic cause of our funding problem is the way the new national pensions funding methodology has been introduced.
"This penalises Hertfordshire by using base figures from just one unrepresentative year.
"This is particularly unfair given the new system was meant to protect individual authorities from pension 'spikes' and has the reverse effect of locking these unrepresentative figures into our settlement on an on-going basis.
"We are currently looking at a funding gap in excess of £4 million and will be assessing the options open to us in preparation for our meeting on February 24.