Scott Morrison Rejects Calls For Australian Politicians To Take A Pay Cut Due To Coronavirus
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has responded to calls to mirror the actions of New Zealand's politicians in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic.
Mr Morrison's Kiwi counterpart, Jacinda Ardern, announced she and her ministers would take a 20 percent pay cut for six months in solidarity with those who have been financially affected by Covid-19.
When quizzed on whether Australian politicians would follow suit, Australia's prime minister said no.
Speaking to 2GB Radio on Friday (10 April), Mr Morrison said: "I know people are taking a hard hit every day in their businesses. But I don't think it's actually helpful in a crisis to start having people turn on each other about who's getting what."
However, Mr Morrison spoke to 6PR Radio yesterday (15 April) and said a pay freeze has been introduced.
"We have already said there won't be any pay rises or any of those changes right across the public service," the prime minister said. "This is not something that is currently before us. It's not something that is being considered."
Mr Morrison then praised the hard work of front line healthcare workers.
He continued: "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.
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"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 front line, 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."
Yesterday, New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern won praise around the world for announcing a pay cut for herself and her ministers.
New Zealand has recorded nearly 1,400 cases of coronavirus, with nine people dying.
More than 1.5 million New Zealanders have applied for the government's wage subsidy, which is significant considering the country has 4.8 million residents.
As a result, Ms Ardern thought it was only right to accept a smaller wage.
The Prime Minister said: "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."
Featured Image Credit: PA
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