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President Obama to give back $20,000 of his salary

Five per cent of his salary will be given to Treasury to act in solidarity with federal workers by sharing in the budget cuts pain.

Image: (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

THE PRESIDENT OF the Unites States, Barack Obama, said he will give back five per cent of his $400,000 annual salary to the US Treasury in solidarity with federal workers who are experiencing massive budget cuts.

“The salary for the President, as with members of Congress, is set by law and cannot be changed,” a White House official said on condition of anonymity.

“However, the President has decided that to share in the sacrifice being made by public servants across the federal government that are affected by the sequester, he will contribute a portion of his salary back to the Treasury.”

The White House has warned that thousands of federal government workers could be forced to take unpaid leave, see salaries hit or even be laid off because of arbitrary budget cuts of $85 billion brought in to reduce the country’s huge deficit.

The measure came into force because Obama and Republican lawmakers were unable to agree a deal on cutting the US budget deficit.

Obama is said to have chosen the five per cent figure as it is equal to the cut being inflicted on non-exempt, non-discretionary government spending.

Additional reporting © AFP, 2012

Read: Connecticut passes ‘toughest gun law in the US’ after Sandy Hook massacre >

More: Stick to the day job: Barack Obama left red-faced after missing 17 consecutive shots >

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Amy Croffey

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