Time and time again, Jacinda Ardern has proven she's a leader to be admired. Today, the New Zealand Prime Minister announced she, along with the rest of her cabinet and several other senior government officials, will be taking a 20 percent pay cut in solidarity with those who have been financially affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The pay decrease will last for the next six months and has been explicitly designed to show solidarity with those who have lost their jobs or have taken financial hits as a result of the outbreak. Ardern has noted that the cut won’t “change the government books”, but instead stands as a matter of “leadership.”
“It’s an acknowledgement of the hit many New Zealanders are taking right now,” Ardern said.
She added, "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.”
New Zealand has been in full lockdown for three weeks, meaning no one has been allowed to leave their home except for necessities. More than 1,300 people have been infected with the virus, and there have been 9 deaths, all older people with pre-existing health conditions.