The Liberal Democrats have challenged the government for making police forces fund their own pay rise without providing any additional cash.
In an urgent question in Parliament before the conference break, Liberal Democrat Chief Whip Alistair Carmichael warned that requiring police forces to spend more without increasing their budgets risks leading to cutbacks to services.
Home Office Minister Sarah Newton responded by claiming that police forces are "sitting on reserves" and that these could used given the "extraordinary circumstances."
Liberal Democrats say that asking police forces to raid reserves to fund their own pay rise is insulting and threatens to stretch police budgets even further.
Alistair Carmichael MP commented:
"The Government refuses to acknowledge that the additional £50m that police forces are now being asked to find will likely result in cutbacks elsewhere.
"If the Prime Minister really wants to reward those on the front-line keeping us safe, she needs to stump up the cash.
"These callous calculations barely disguise the contempt the Conservatives have for those in the public sector.”