New Zealand Prime Minister takes pay cut in fight against coronavirus

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  • Leader of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern wants to show solidarity with those affected by the coronavirus outbreak

    Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern has voluntarily taken a 20 per cent pay cut to ‘close the gap’ between groups of people affected by coronavirus across the country.

    Lasting six months, Jacinda said it was important the government’s most highly paid politicians show ‘leadership and solidarity’ with workers on the frontline and those who had lost their livelihoods.

    This means with immediate effect Jacinda, government ministers and public service chief executives will take the cut for half a year.

    The pay cut will reduce the leader’s salary by $47,104 (£22,639), while cabinet ministers take a cut of NZ$26,900 (£12,923) each and deputy prime minister Winston Peters’ salary will be cut by $33,473 (£16,080).

    Ardern, who became the second woman ever to give birth while leading a country, said of the decision, ‘If there was ever a time to close the gap between groups of people across New Zealand in different positions, it is now. I am responsible for the executive branch and this is where we can take action … it is about showing solidarity in New Zealand’s time of need.’

     

    On April 8 Jacinda, 39, took to Instagram to assure the population support was there for them during such an unprecedented time. ‘I know many people will be starting to feel the pressures of self-isolation, and I know plenty will be feeling lonely or struggling with the uncertainty of the situation,’ she started.

    ‘That’s why this week we launched a new mental health initiative called ‘Getting through together’. If you do need support, you can reach out and find resources available on the allright.org.nz website…

    Aroha from afar.’

    Of course, New Zealand’s population is far smaller than the UK’s, with just five million people living on the island compared to 66 million, but still, those five million need to be led in times of crisis, and Ms Ardern’s government have been praised for swiftly stemming the coronavirus outbreak with relatively few cases and deaths.

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