Abbott refuses to address excesses as Slipper fumes
TONY Abbott seems unwilling to explain how two wrongs make a right.
The Opposition Leader has been widely criticised after it was revealed on the weekend he had to repay more than $9000 in taxpayer funding in 2009.
But Mr Abbott has not responded to the Daily's request to explain how his excessive use of his travel expenses, including the use of official "comcars", differs from the controversial Member for Fisher, Peter Slipper.
Mr Slipper faced a detailed AFP probe and will now have to defend himself in a costly lawsuit over alleged misuse of $946 in entitlements.
He turned to Twitter to vent his frustration.
Thxs every1 4 your support over last 2 days. It means a lot 2 both my wife & me. We r mystified y T Abbott is given preferential treatment.— Peter Slipper MP (@PeterSlipperMP) July 8, 2013
He told the Daily he was frustrated by the "double standards" and again mentioned the Minchin protocol which normally guides the entitlement process.
This protocol, introduced by the Howard government, allows MPs to pay back or explain a possible misuse of entitlement when the amounts are minor.
Mr Abbott did not respond to the Daily's query how Mr Slipper's situation differed from his.
Instead, his media adviser said he had "addressed this issue in his press conference today (Tuesday)".
The transcript (below) shows Mr Abbott refused to answer the question, claiming six times "it was fully dealt with last year".
When pressed, he accuses Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of a dirt campaign against him.
"I think I've fully dealt with it, time to move on," he said.
In 2010, Mr Abbott called for all members of parliament to be prudent and frugal in their use of entitlements.
At the time, he also pledged to cut government waste.
But the reports on an independent website now show only months earlier he was travelling at taxpayers' expense to promote his book, Battlelines.
Member for Moreton Graham Perrett wrote to the AFP in May, asking it to speed up its probe into Mal Brough and other key politicians over "Ashbygate".
Mr Perrett said yesterday he still had not received a response from the AFP.
He also questioned Mr Abbott's misuses of entitlements. "Injustice is screaming out here ... " he said.