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New Zealand prime minister takes huge pay cut, while Trudeau approves MPs' raise

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is taking a 20 percent pay cut over the course of six months due to the economic strain of coronavirus.
Nico Johnson Montreal, QC

Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern is taking a 20 percent pay cut over the course of six months due to the economic strain of coronavirus, according to Reuters.

This stands in some contrast to our own prime minister, who allowed federal members of parliament to receive an additional $2,800 per year—boosting their annual salaries to $181,000—in spite of this year's economic hardship.

Trudeau received a great deal of pressure to scrap this automatic pay hike, and eventually chose to donate it to a charity. This, however, came after the leaders of the opposition Andrew Scheer and Jagmeet Singh promised to donate their raises to charity.

Ardern, along with other members of the Kiwi cabinet, have gone much further, opting for a 20 percent pay cut in solidarity with the population of New Zealand who have lost jobs and income through the coronavirus restrictions.  

The Pacific island country has one of the strictest lockdown programs in the world and nearly all commerce is at a standstill.

Speaking about the pay cut, Ardern said that "this is where we can take action and that is why we have."

"We acknowledge New Zealanders who are reliant on wage subsides, taking a pay cut, and losing their jobs as a result of the global pandemic," she added.

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