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Obama to hand back five percent of own salary

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(Globalpost/GlobalPost)

President Barack Obama plans to return five percent of his $400,000 annual salary to US government coffers out of sympathy for federal workers furloughed as a result of 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 Wednesday 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."

Obama will cut checks every month to account for the impact of the budget cuts, known as the sequester, which came into force on March 1.

The White House has warned that thousands of federal government workers could be furloughed, see salaries hit or even be laid off because of arbitrary budget cuts of $85 billion.

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 percent figure as it is equal to the cut being inflicted on non-exempt, non-discretionary government spending.

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http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/afp/130403/obama-hand-back-five-percent-own-salary