Verlinden maintains police pay increase despite difficult budget negotiations: “After years of divestment, we have to turn the curve” | Inland

Minister of the Interior Annelies Verlinden (CD&V) wants to stick to the salary increase for the police. This is in jeopardy because of the difficult budget negotiations.

The police unions and Minister Verlinden concluded a social agreement at the beginning of this year after months of negotiations. There would be a structural wage increase of an average of 5 percent, in addition to better career opportunities and working conditions.

The money for that agreement has yet to be found in the ongoing budget negotiations. However, next year’s federal budget threatens to write deep red numbers, so that kind of extra spending is in jeopardy.

“I am very confident that my colleagues will support the sectoral agreement”, said Verlinden in ‘De Morgen’ on Radio 1. “I have heard a lot of support from all groups in parliament for strengthening the security services. After years of divestment, we need to turn the curve.”

“More people on site”

In the interview, Verlinden referred to the criminal violence of recent months, including in the city center of Antwerp. “Both with us and abroad, criminals are much more brazen,” she said. “They no longer shun any form of violence or threat and we have to respond to that with more people on the ground, more people in the judicial police and more international cooperation.”