"Government" is a collective noun. It can be used with either a singular or plural form of the verb.
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"This is a departure from Mr Blair's recent public engagements, which have focused more on the religious community. It is, however, perhaps more in tune with his employment by the government of Kazakhstan, who currently pay him £8 million a year to whitewash their human rights record."
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Who refers to what? If who refers to the government of Kazakhstan, do we need to add s to the verb pay?
"In AmE, collective nouns are almost always singular in construction: the committee was unable to agree."
More: Comparison of American and British English - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia