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Report reveals Turnbull donates salary to charity amid Labor criticisms

Crossbench senators praise the PM’s charitable giving and hits back at Labor ads aimed at criticising Turnbull’s wealth

A report has revealed Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull donates his annual salary to charity in the wake of Labor advertisements criticising his wealth.

Crossbench senators have taken Labor to task over the ads that claim Turnbull’s multi-million dollar investments will benefit from the proposed company tax cuts.

Derry Hinch told reporters in Canberra that Labor’s attacks on the Prime Minister “is pretty lowlife,” adding: “We all know he’s a self-made millionaire and fair enough.”

Senator Hinch also praised Turnbull over the reports he donates about $550,000 to charity through his foundation, more than his $528,000 prime ministerial salary.

“The fact that he gives his salary to charity is very commendable,” Hinch added.

Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm said that what politicians decide to do with their salaries is a “dignity question,” adding the advertisements are a “puerile debate.”

“The idea that because you’re rich you’re not qualified to have an opinion about what’s in the best interests of Australia is just ridiculous,” Leyonhjelm said.

Labor leader Bill Shorten insisted it wasn’t Turnbull’s wealth that worried him.

“It is when he says stupid things,” he told reporters, citing the Prime Minister’s “get rich parents” advice to young homebuyers.

“I generally think Mr Turnbull is so out of touch with how millions of Australians live their life. That is the problem.”

Labor senator Doug Cameron added Turnbull’s wealth meant he was getting the largest tax cut: “Pauline Hanson and Malcolm Turnbull voted to give themselves a $7000 tax cut when the lowest income people in the country were receiving a pittance.”

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