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Jacinda Ardern’s government just took a pay cut to show solidarity for those affected by coronavirus

Posted by
Lauren Geall
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New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern during her daily coronavirus briefing

New Zealand’s prime minister Jacinda Ardern has announced her government is taking a 20% pay cut in “solidarity” with those financially affected by the coronavirus outbreak.

If there’s one fact we can all agree on right now, it’s that Jacinda Ardern – and the New Zealand government – seem to be doing a pretty fantastic job in responding to the coronavirus outbreak.

The number of daily new coronavirus cases there is now decreasing. The country has only seen 1,401 cases of the virus so far – with nine deaths in total. And Ardern hasn’t lost her signature charm to the virus, either: last week, the prime minister charmed journalists at a coronavirus press conference by revealing that the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy were, in fact, key workers.

There’s something about watching Ardern do her thing that’s comforting and unnerving all at once. We are, of course, obsessed with everything she’s doing, but watching her take these amazing steps to curb the spread of the virus makes it hard not to compare her actions to the rest of the world’s. 

It’s safe to say that it probably wouldn’t hurt some of Ardern’s fellow world leaders to take note of her actions…

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Now, in yet another iconic announcement, Ardern has revealed that her and her ministers will be taking a 20% pay cut for the next six months in a move of solidarity with people suffering from the economic impact of the coronavirus outbreak.

“Today, I can confirm that myself, government ministers and public service chief executives will take a 20% pay cut for the next six months, as we acknowledge New Zealanders who are reliant on wage subsidies, have taken pay cuts and are losing their jobs as a result of Covid-19’s global pandemic,” she explained.  

“We feel acutely the struggle that many New Zealanders are facing and so do the people that I work with on a daily basis.”

Although Ardern admitted that the pay cut wouldn’t “shift the government’s fiscal position,” she argued that the move was “about leadership” and “showing solidarity in New Zealand’s time of need”.

“If there were ever a time to close the gap between groups of people across New Zealand in different positions, it is now,” she said. 

“I am responsible for the executive branch, myself and ministers – this is where we can take action, and that is why we have.”

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A total of 1.5 million people have now applied to the New Zealand’s wage subsidy scheme to help them deal with a temporary loss of income during the coronavirus outbreak, so Ardern’s move is likely to be welcomed by people all over the country.

According to The Guardian, the pay cut will reduce Ardern’s salary by $47,104.

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Lauren Geall

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