New Zealand's prime minister, leadership to take 20 percent pay cut to offset coronavirus impact

New Zealand's prime minister, leadership to take 20 percent pay cut to offset coronavirus impact
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern on Wednesday announced that she and the country's other top-ranking officials will take a 20 percent cut in their pay for the next 6 months as the coronavirus pandemic continues to rage on.

“This is where we can take action and that is why we have,” Ardern said during a press conference, according to Reuters.

“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 continued.

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Like many places across the world, New Zealand's schools and nonessential businesses have been closed for almost a month in an attempt to curb the spread of the virus that has infected nearly 2 million people worldwide.

The country reported 20 new cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, on Wednesday, bringing the total number of confirmed cases in the country to 1,386 with nine deaths.

A decision on whether to extend the country's current “Level 4” shutdown is expected from Ardern and the government next week.