Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has moved quickly to steadfastly rule out any Prime Ministerial or Parliamentarian pay cut, following on from this afternoon’s announcement that New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern would be taking a voluntary 20% pay cut for six months in a bid to ease strain on the Kiwi economy caused by coronavirus shutdowns.
Speaking on Radio 6PR this afternoon, Morrison again sternly ruled out any potential pay cut for high ranking Government officials during the pandemic, asserting that his Government has already done enough by mandating a Parliamentary pay freeze (i.e. they won’t be getting pay rises during this time).
“We have already said there won’t be any pay rises or any of those changes right across the public service. This is not something that is currently before us. It’s not something that is being considered,” Morrison stated.
Interestingly enough, the Prime Minister then immediately pivoted the conversation, talking instead about front-line public service workers, who are not subject to any pay cut mandates either here or in New Zealand.
“Let me tell you what is happening with public servants in this country at the moment. I’ve got 6,000 public servants, some of whom we have just recently contracted, others who are working at senior levels who are sitting down at Centrelink right now processing people’s Jobseeker applications,” Morrison barked.
“I’ve got people in the public service that are working like they have never worked before I suspect. They do a great job. They are as much on the frontline frankly as nurses working in hospitals. So everyone is working hard. Everyone in a job is in an essential job. I just want to support them in those jobs. I don’t want to get into a competition.”
Ardern’s pay cut announcement, for what it’s worth, applies only to the Prime Minister, direct members of her cabinet, and senior public service figureheads, which means people like the very top level department CEOs and members of the judiciary such as judges. It is set to last for six months.Image: AAP