Pay rise for prison officers 2019 statement by Robert Buckland

Robert Buckland QC

By accepting the Prison Service Pay Review Body’s recommendations in full, we are continuing our investment in the prison officers, managers and governors at the very heart of what we do.

The pay award is worth at least 2.2% for all prison staff and a targeted 3% increase for our Band 3 F&S prison officers on the frontline.

This is the second year in a row we have announced above inflation pay rises over 2%. On top of that, we have made further pledges to recruit and retain prison officers and managers, helping to make our prisons safer and reduce reoffending.

Our committed and hard-working staff deliver vital work in the face of challenging and often dangerous circumstances. Their dedicated service helps to turn offenders away from a life of crime and, ultimately, keeps the wider public safe.

We are committed to giving them the right tools to do their jobs which is why we have recruited an extra 4,700 prison officers since 2016 and invested an extra £70 million to improve security and decency in our prisons. This investment has enabled us to roll out the key-worker scheme – giving officers direct responsibility for offenders and time to build the vital relationships that change the lives of those in custody.

This Government remains committed to ensuring all public service workers, including the prison service, are paid fairly for the work they do.

Public sector pay must be fair to the worker as well as the taxpayer and we consider all pay awards in light of wider pressures on public spending. The government’s balanced approach to public finances – getting debt falling as a share of our economy, while investing in our vital services and keeping taxes low – has meant we are able to continue our flexible approach to pay policy.

I believe this package will help us attract and retain high calibre staff and to invest in ambitious, modernising reforms as we build towards a world class prison service.

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