Wednesday New Zealand prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that she will take a 20% pay cut in a symbolic art of solidarity with the people struggling economically during COVID19 pandemic .
She also said that her personal salary including top public servants and her fellow ministers would be slashed by a fifth for six months .
This move will see her annual pay fall from NZ$470,000 to NZ$370,000 , which will cost her about NZ$47,000 over the six month period .
She told the reporters that it is all about leadership , while it in itself won't shift the government's fiscal position .
This was always just going to be an acknowledgement that many kiwis will be taking at the moment . She also said that cut would not be implemented on the public service .
Public sector workers are frontline essential workers such as healthcare professional , nurses, police. Ardern said , neither she is suggesting pay cuts here nor would kiwis find that appropriate.
In the midst of four week COVID19 pandemic lockdown in New Zealand paralyzed the economy with thousands of job losses already announced .
This week Treasury department released economic modeling which predicted unemployed currently is about 4% which could increase to almost about 26% in worst case scenario .
Ardern said if ever there was a time to close the gap between the different positions then this is now. This is where we can take action that is why we are here.
She said her wage cut was a small contribution towards easing pay inequality in the society.