New Zealand PM Jacinda Ardern will take a 20 per cent pay cut in symbolic gesture as coronavirus pandemic hits families’ finances
- Ardern is taking a pay cut in a symbolic act of solidarity during the pandemic
- Her annual pay will fall from £225,000 to £180,000 for a six-month period
- New Zealand is in the midst of a lockdown which has paralyzed the economy
- Learn more about how to help people impacted by COVID
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has announced she will take a 20 percent pay cut in a symbolic act of solidarity with people struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic.
Ardern said on Wednesday that her personal salary, those of her fellow ministers and of top public servants would be slashed by a fifth for six months.
The move will see Ardern’s annual pay fall from around NZ$470,000 (GBP£225,000) to NZ$376,000 (£180,000), costing her about NZ$47,000 (£22,500) over the six-month period.
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern (pictured today) has announced she will take a 20 percent pay cut in a symbolic act of solidarity with people struggling financially during the coronavirus pandemic
‘While it in itself won’t shift the government’s overall fiscal position, it is about leadership,’ she told reporters.
‘This was always just going to be an acknowledgement of the hit that many New Zealanders will be taking at the moment.’
The centre-left leader said the cut would not be implemented across the public service.
‘Many people in our public sector are frontline essential workers – nurses, police, healthcare professionals,’ Ardern said.
‘We are not suggesting pay cuts here, nor would New Zealanders find that appropriate.’
New Zealand is in the midst of a four-week COVID-19 lockdown that has paralysed the economy, with thousands of jobs losses already announced.
Opposition leader Simon Bridges (pictured) said that he would also take a 20 percent pay cut
Economic modelling released by the Treasury department this week predicted unemployment – currently about 4.0 percent – could soar to almost 26 percent in a worst-case scenario.
Ardern said her wage cut was a small contribution to easing pay inequalities in society.
‘If ever there was a time to close the gap between different positions, it’s now,’ she said.
‘This is where we can take action which is why we have.’
Opposition leader Simon Bridges said that he would also take a 20 percent pay cut.
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