Police facing £125m real-terms cut

The party has criticised the government after it emerged the Home Office police grant for 2018-19 will remain exactly the same as this year, meaning police forces will see the equivalent of a £125m real-terms cut once inflation is taken into account.

The Home Office Police Core Settlement announced today for 2018/19 is £4,054,533,651 (link, p.3), which is exactly the same as in 2017/18 (link, p.6).

If funding had kept pace with annual inflation of 3.1%, it would have been increased by £125.7m (Office for National Statistics, link).

£270m of the additional funding the government is claiming to be investing in the police will depend on local Police and Crime Commissioners raising the police precept in their areas, which the Liberal Democrats have branded a “stealth council tax rise.”

Liberal Democrat Home Affairs Spokesperson Ed Davey commented:

The impact of this cut in police budgets will unfortunately be rather different from the government’s smoke and mirrors spin. With crime rising even faster than inflation, the Home Secretary should have increased police budgets in real terms.

By refusing to listen to senior police officers’ calls for investment, Conservative Ministers are failing to keep our streets safe. Even the Conservatives’ attempt at a stealth council tax rise wouldn’t be enough to protect local police forces.

I’m genuinely shocked that Ministers have ignored the alarming rise in murders, gun and knife crime and sexual assaults with this decision.


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  • Laurence Cox 21st Dec '17 - 12:13pm

    But simultaneously, elected Mayors and Police and Crime Commissioners are being allowed to raise police precepts by £12 per household as Sadiq Khan in London has already indicated he will do:


    “The increased precept threshold will contribute to an overall injection of £450m into policing”

    So what we are seeing is the money for the Police coming more from local taxation and less from general taxation. If Londoners’ don’t want higher taxes, then they can vote Khan out. The vast majority of London constituencies didn’t elect Tory MPs, so we are suffering under a Government we did not elect. Why should they dictate that Londoners’ taxes go to those parts of the country that voted for Brexit?

  • William Fowler 21st Dec '17 - 1:57pm

    All you do when you increase budgets by inflation is cause yet more inflation so no actual cuts. given the huge debt, is about right… increasing council taxes, which are not related to income, is a nasty thing to do when there are so many loopholes in the tax system they could stop and so many areas where they can raise revenue if they really wanted to. Also, as far as low end salaries go, increases in the personal allowance and minimum hourly rate adds up to more than three percent so a lot of people are better off despite no increase in the budgets.

  • The murder rate is up, crime is increasing but you want to reduce the number of police William. Well as bad plans go that’s a very bad plan. You have to understand “Knowing the price of everything and the value of nothing” leads to a dysfunctional society which will cost you more in the long run. If you neglect the infrastructure that keeps society together don’t be surprised when it starts to fail. i know this in anathema to Tory’s who believe “Everything can be done for less and eventually everything will be done for nothing” , if we get to that state William don’t be screaming “Police help me” there won’t be any.

    The rest of your post is also alas deeply depressingly wrong, the poor are getting poorer not richer and the fact you don’t realise that worries me.

  • @ William Fowler, Your point about increases in personal tax allowance increases only benefits those who are receiving enough to pay tax in the first place. Likewise increases in the minimum wage only benefit those whose employers take notice of the legislation rather than relying on ineffective enforcement to let them get away with it. Not that I can see what your comments have to do with police budgets, cuts to which have already deprived many PCSOs and civilian staff of their jobs.

  • Katerina Porter 22nd Dec '17 - 8:49pm

    It is not only the Police who are facing destructive cuts. Departments which one might consider particularly needed for the Brexit negotiations are also savagely cut in this Budget. Department for International Trade 0.3bn next year from 0.4 this year, Foreign Office from 2bn to 1.2bn next year and again the year after. HMRC from 3.6bn to 3,4bn and then 3.2bn, Environment , food and rural affairs loses 0.1bn a year, Transport 0.3 cut. However Defence and International Development get more – 3.9bn.

    This simply does not make sense. More money has to be raised, the simplest and quickest way is income tax, in spite of the political difficulty, and it was much higher even with Mrs Thatcher. Other European countries accept higher income tax because society needs it.

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