A POLICE federation chairman has branded the plans for a public sector pay freeze a “betrayal” and a “disgrace”.

The government announced the pay freeze for more than a million workers this month.

Chancellor Rishi Sunak said there will be no extra cash boost for civil servants, teachers, police, firefighters, the Armed Forces, and council staff in a pay review last week.

It comes as government borrowing hits record levels.

But Sussex Police Federation Chairman Daren Egan, who took over the role this year, said public sector workers, including police, had made great sacrifices during the coronavirus crisis.

He said it was a “divisive” approach which ignores how workers like police, prison officers and carers have also been on the frontline.

Mr Egan said: “The government’s decision of a pay “pause” for police officers in 2021, otherwise known as a pay freeze, is a betrayal of all their hard work and sacrifice made policing the Covid-19 pandemic.

“The vast majority of officers will now face yet another pay cut, after years of austerity it means in real terms a reduction in pay of 18 per cent.”

Nurses and doctors will not be included in the Chancellor’s measures, while public sector staff earning less than £24,000 will get a £250 payment.

But Mr Egan said: “Ironically some officers will get the additional £250 for them being among the lowest paid workers. To me this says it all when it comes to the current poor state of police officers’ pay.

“When the pandemic began I saw the uncertainty and often fear in my colleagues’ faces, they had their own families to protect and we were asking them to carry on, getting hands on with criminals, mostly without sufficient masks or any protection.

“Not once did I see any officer turn away from their responsibilities to keep us all safe. After 26 years on the front line it was a humbling experience and makes me proud to be a police officer.

“We all know that the country is in financial difficulty, but rather than doing the right thing by rewarding all front line workers who have dealt with this pandemic face to face, this government has rewarded some and penalised others.

“It’s a disgraceful decision.”

Shadow Chancellor Annaliese Dodds, for the Labour Party, criticised the government and said the Conservatives “clapping for carers” was a “hollow” gesture and pointed out the apparent waste of money given to private companies to buy protective gear.