New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she will voluntarily be taking a 20% pay cut for the next 6 months in a bid to help ease the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic on her nation’s economy.
Ardern, along with all Ministers in her Government and public service chief executives, will take the reduced pay for the next half a year as ordinary New Zealanders brace themselves for the economic hit the pandemic is set to level on the country.
In a short statement confirming the decision, Ardern stated that “If there was ever a time to close the gap between different positions, it’s now. This is where we can take action and that is why we have.”
In addition to Ardern and her Government ministers, New Zealand opposition leader Simon Bridges also confirmed on social media that he too will be taking a 20% pay cut for the next six months in a show of bi-partisan solidarity.
I have advised the Prime Minister that I will also take a 20% pay cut. https://t.co/frLcSw9V8T
— Simon Bridges (@simonjbridges) April 15, 2020
In contrast to that, last week Australian Finance Minister Mathias Cormann resisted growing calls for our Parliamentarians to follow suit, instituting a pay freeze for MPs but stopping short of mandating a pay cut.
At the time, Cormann told ABC radio that “Right now, politicians are probably working harder than they ever have,” and that “this is the most intense period in my working life that I am going through, and I think it’s the same for most if not all of my colleagues.”
Compare the pair.Image: AAP