The federal government has asked the Remuneration Tribunal to put a pay freeze in place for 12 months.
But a cut is not being contemplated.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said salaries made up a tiny percentage of the federal budget, however, he would consider changes if necessary.
“I know people are taking a hard hit every day in their businesses,” he told Sydney radio 2GB on Friday.
“But I don’t think it’s actually helpful in a crisis to start having people turn on each other about who’s getting what.”
A number of Australian workers have agreed with their employers to take cuts of around 10 per cent of their wages during the crisis, while others have lost their jobs.
But Finance Minister Mathias Cormann said a pay cut for politicians and bureaucrats wouldn’t make much of a difference.
“I think MPs and public servants are working very hard right now,” Cormann told Sky News.
“I’m not sure how this sort of suggestion would help – in the context of the budget challenge it’s essentially at the margin.”
Liberal senator Eric Abetz, who froze politicians’ pay when he served former prime minister Tony Abbott in 2015, said a cut should be considered.
“Without being prescriptive, the government will need to tighten its belts and consider its priorities,” he said.
NSW Liberal MP Jason Falinski also said a pay cut would remain a live issue, but noted that many MPs were working longer hours to help constituents hit by the coronavirus pandemic.
Want to comment?
Send us an email, making it clear which story you’re commenting on and including your full name (required for publication) and phone number (only for verification purposes). Please put “Reader views” in the subject.
We’ll publish the best comments in a regular “Reader Views” post. Your comments can be brief, or we can accept up to 350 words, or thereabouts.
Help our journalists uncover the facts
In times like these InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to donate to InDaily.