HAMPSHIRE Police Federation is calling on the Government to oversee an immediate review of the South East Allowance.
The extra cash is supposed to help officers in the more expensive south-east live and work in the region.
However, it’s not linked to inflation, hasn’t been reviewed since 1997 and currently stands at £1,100 in Hampshire – following a £100 rise earlier this year.
That’s not nearly enough to make a difference, the Federation says.
It’s particularly galling when London allowances for Met officers are keeping pace with the cost of living, said Hampshire Police Federation Chair Zoe Wakefield.
“The South East allowance is no longer the value it used to be,” she said.
“It was brought in in 1997 due to the high cost of living within the forces surrounding London. It hasn’t increased with inflation.
“The difference in the cost of living in the south compared to other parts of the country needs to be addressed. In March, I spoke to an officer from a northern force, and my council tax is more than his mortgage.
“It angers me that the London allowance has gone up by an extra £1,000 [The Commissioner’s ability to grant an extra £1,000 has been granted]. I wonder how many Met officers actually live within the Met area?
“I expect many of them live within south-east force areas, in houses which cost the same as local officers’ houses, who get substantially less with the south-east allowance.
“There are Met officers living in Hampshire. We’ve got lots of Met officers that live in Hampshire so they are getting their London weighting and we are getting £1,100. That can’t be right.”
Zoe says the Government has spoken about reviewing the allowance but that it needs to get on with it.
“The Government has said it needs to be urgently reviewed so we’d like to see some timescales on when that review is going to take place because, as I said, it was brought in in 1997 and it’s never been properly addressed and looked at since then.”