Yet again the South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner Alun Michael is increasing the Police Precept – [the compulsory charge Penarth residents are compelled to pay as part as part of their Council Tax Bill] – by well above the annual rate of inflation.
This time the police precept is being increased by 5% – whereas the annual rate of inflation is 1.2%.
This is the fourth year in a row that Labour Police commissioner Alun Michael has imposed a police precept charge which is several times more than the annual rate of inflation.
- In 2013/14 Alun Michael increased the police precept by 7%.
- In 2014/15 he increased it by 5%
- In 2015/16 he increased it by 4.8%
- Now for 2016/17 he’s increasing it again by 5%
Every increase has been way above the UK rate of inflation and well above the percentage increase in UK national wages, salaries and pensions and incomes.
The police precept (like the Penarth Town Council Precept) is calculated on the basis of the various Council Tax Bands allocated to every home in Penarth . Yet again South Wales police have quoted the rise only in relation to a “Band D” home – which is totally unrepresentative of the average Penarth home – most of which are in far higher bands.
In a statement the South Wales Police and Crime Panel – [ which is supposed to represent the public but actually consists of mostly Labour Party politicians] – agreed the increase saying the extra charges imposed on council-tax payers would “allow modest investment into protecting vulnerable people and maintain neighbourhood policing” .
South Wales Police claims their government grant is being cut but they are having to meet extra costs on things like the “apprenticeship levy“ and “increased pension costs”.
Alun Michael says the force has “taken a balanced approach to soften the impact on policing our communities, while keeping the burden on the rate payer to a minimum.”
A South Wales police statement says the proposals for the 5% increase has been “supported by the Police Federation” [the body that represents in the interests of police officers] but doesn’t explain why it’s deemed necessary to have the Federation’s assent to the increase. There has been no public consultation about the precept rise.