Prime Minister Scott Morrison has said there are no plans to cut the pay of senior public servants despite New Zealand taking the step.
Mr Morrison told Perth radio station 6PR on Wednesday that federal bureaucrats were "on the front line" saving livelihoods.
And they're as much on the front line saving people's livelihoods as, frankly, nurses working in hospitals.Prime Minister Scott Morrison
The Prime Minister said he didn't want to get into a competition with other nations on public service pay.
"I've got 6000 public servants, some of whom we've just recently contracted, others who are working at senior levels in the public service, sitting down at Centrelink right now, processing people's JobSeeker applications," he said.
"I've got people in the public service that are working like they've never worked before I suspect, they do a great job. And they're as much on the front line saving people's livelihoods as, frankly, nurses working in hospitals."
Mr Morrison said public servants were getting government payments to people needing the money in the months ahead during the coronavirus economic shock.
"Everyone is working hard here. And everyone who is in a job, is in an essential job. And I just want to support them in those jobs."
New Zealand's public service chiefs will take a 20 per cent pay cut for the next six months amid the COVID-19 economic downturn.
Mr Morrison's comments follow a decision last week to freeze Commonwealth public service wage rises for six months.
The pay rises of senior federal public servants are also frozen.
Public servants from across the federal bureaucracy are being redeployed to answer Centrelink calls as the government responds to rising unemployment following coronavirus-related restrictions.
Minister assisting the Prime Minister for the public service Greg Hunt last month wrote a letter to Commonwealth bureaucrats praising their dedication.
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