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Poll: NSW Residents Demand Politician And Bureaucrat Pay Cut During Lockdown

Written by
2 August 2021

The Institute of Public Affairs has called on the New South Wales government to reduce the salaries of politicians and bureaucrats who are on over $150,000 by 20% for the duration of the Greater Sydney lockdown.

A poll of 1,033 NSW residents commissioned by the Institute of Public Affairs, with data collected by Dynata between 24 and 28 July 2021, asked respondents to agree or disagree with the statement ‘Politicians and bureaucrats on over $150,000 per year should have their pay reduced by 20% for the duration of the Greater Sydney lockdown.’ 

  • 75% agree
  • 9% disagree
  • 16% neither agree nor disagree

“The Berejiklian government must listen to the people of NSW and ensure that there is equality of sacrifice for the duration of the lockdowns,” said Daniel Wild, Director of Research at the IPA.

“If we are truly ‘all in this together’ then the economic and social pain must be shared around.”

There was over 70% support amongst every age group for pay cuts, with those aged 25-34 indicating the highest support at 81%.

“Reducing public sector pay is not aimed at punishing public servants but ensuring that they have skin in the game. They need to experience firsthand the same pain as working-class and younger Sydneysiders.”

“It is a significant ethical and moral failing that those who impose the lockdowns are not those who incur the costs.”

“Lockdowns have an inequitable impact on society based on class: the low-income, working-class suffer while the high-income, professional elite remain in safe jobs and can work from home,” said Mr Wild.

According to IPA analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data, the average private sector worker is paid 20% less than the average public sector worker in NSW.

The findings of this poll are consistent with the previous nation-wide poll commissioned by the IPA in April 2020 which found that 74% of Australians agreed that politicians and senior public servants on salaries over $150,000 should have their pay reduced by 20%. Only 10% disagreed, and 16% neither agreed nor disagreed.

Download the poll here.

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Daniel Wild

Daniel Wild is the Director of Research at the Institute of Public Affairs

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