LETTERS: Seems like our Tony is now on the perks
RECENTLY I read in the newspapers that former prime minister Tony Abbott had been on a trip to England to be guest speaker for a meeting of the Margaret Thatcher Society.
For this public speaking engagement it is said that he was paid $40,000.
If this is true, how come he is allowed to attend these events and be paid a fee when he is already employed by our government as a full-time highly paid politician?
In my mind this foray into public speaking raises many unanswered questions.
Firstly is he on official holidays or specially granted leave to attend these events?
And if not how can he be spared from his full time political duties?
Secondly does he still collect his parliamentary pay, allowances and benefits while he is away?
And thirdly who paid for his flights over and his accommodation while he was there?
Did these expenses come out of the public purse or his so-called political entitlements?
Or did he pay them out of his own pocket?
If he has paid all expenses out of his own pocket or his expenses were paid by the organisation that invited him I am not concerned.
But if he has used the public purse in any way to fund this trip then it should be declared and publicly revealed.
It is essential in a democracy that politicians maintain transparency by revealing the use of their expenses which are paid from the public purse.
This process is used to provide information to the community so that our politicians remain honest, do not engage in any corrupt practices and continue to abide by the rules.
DOUGLAS YOUNG, Silkstone
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