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Tuesday, 9 April 1957

Mr Ward d asked the Prime Minister, upon notice -

1.   What annual payments are received by the Prime Minister as (a) special allowance as Prime Minister, (b) parliamentary allowance and (c) entertainment allowance?

2.   What is the daily allowance paid to the Prime Minister whilst (a) travelling in Australia and (b) travelling abroad?

3.   What proportions of all these payments are tax free?

4.   Will he furnish advice concerning the amount which an ordinary taxpayer subject to payment of income tax would have to receive annually in order to have a net income equal to that received by the Prime Minister?

Mr Menzies - The answers to the honorable member's questions are as follows: -

1.   An independent committee of inquiry in 1952 recommended that the Prime Minister should be paid, in addition to his normal allowance and electoral allowance as a member of Parliament, a special allowance of £4,000 per annum and an entertainment allowance of £3,500 per annum. These recommendations were adopted by Parliament and apart from the increase in 1956 in the normal allowance and electoral allowance paid to all members of Parliament, there has been no alteration in the amounts since. The terms of reference to the 1955 committee of inquiry specifically excluded ministerial salaries and the allowance paid to the Prime Minister. 2. (a) The 1955 committee of inquiry into parliamentary allowances recommended that travelling allowances be paid at the following rates: -

To the Prime Minister - £10 10s. per day.

To Ministers, President, Speaker and Leader of the Opposition - £7 7s. per day, other than in Canberra or a nominated home base. These allowances have operated since 1st July, 1956. (b) The normal travelling allowance is not paid for overseas travel. In such cases it has always been the practice whatever Government is in office for a grant to be made to cover expenses. 3 and 4. Since 1st July, 1956, allowances paid to the Prime Minister as indeed to all members of Parliament, Ministers and office-bearers of the Parliament have been subject to taxation law in the normal way. The taxation concessions which were available to all members of Parliament a few years ago do not now operate.

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