Police officers are facing a difficult year financially as they battle with increasing cost of living, bills, fuel and national insurance contributions.
Hampshire Police Federation has called for a decent pay rise for officers, and a plan that recognises the cost of inflation.
Chair Zoë Wakefield said officers on her force are struggling with higher costs of living against a real time pay freeze.
She said: “We’ve got officers that fill their car on pay day and then have to make that tank of petrol last until next the next pay day because they know they can’t afford to fill it up more than once.
“They have to think about it before they go anywhere, because they have to make sure they have enough fuel to get to work.
“We’ve got some who are who are living with a partner that they’ve now broken up with, but they can’t afford to live on their own. They’re stuck in a very unhappy environment at home. I’m sorry, but it’s just not good enough.”
Police Federation of England and Wales Vice-Chair Ché Donald asked members: “If you can’t get an inflation busting pay rise, what could be done to improve your situation? Extra Days Annual Leave? Council Tax Rebate? Reaching max leave entitlement sooner?”
But Zoë said while these measures would be welcome, nothing could substitute for a decent pay rise.
She added: “The Government should recognise the cost of inflation. Officers are basically taking a pay cut when we look at increasing National Insurance and the increase in Council Tax.
“Officers have got less money to pay their bills and I don’t think an extra day’s leave is really going to make any difference. Because the struggle to take the leave that they have already got.
“We need that pay rise. We need a decent pay rise and then a plan for future pay rises as well.”