Malcolm Turnbull donates about $550,000 to charity through the Turnbull Foundation. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Malcolm Turnbull donates about $550,000 to charity through the Turnbull Foundation. Picture: AAP Image/Mick Tsikas

Turnbull gives his salary to charity

PRIME Minister Malcolm Turnbull donates every cent of his $500,000 annual salary to charity - blunting Labor's attacks on his personal wealth and that his company tax cuts are motivated by greed.

The revelation comes as Labor launches TV adverts accusing Mr Turnbull of campaigning for a drop in company tax because he "has millions invested in funds which hold shares in dozens of big businesses which would benefit from the tax cuts".

The commercial is slated to run in marginal electorates ahead of next month's by-elections where Labor leader Bill Shorten will be vulnerable to a leadership challenge from rival Anthony Albanese if the Opposition loses.

News Corp Australia understands Mr Turnbull does not divert his $528,000 salary into a separate account but donates slightly more than the equivalent amount, about $550,000, to charity through the Turnbull Foundation, which was established in 2001.

The Sydney Children's Hospital's website confirms the size of a donation from Mr Turnbull and has even named a ward after him.

"The Turnbull family has donated over $1 million in support of Sydney Children's Hospital, in particular for our cancer inpatient ward, of which they are naming rights sponsors," it states.

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull donates every cent of his salary to charity. Picture: Kym Smith
Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull donates every cent of his salary to charity. Picture: Kym Smith

Mr Turnbull also donates to the Wayside Chapel and the Tribal Warrior Aboriginal Corporation in Redfern which provides education training, food and assistance to indigenous families.

The Prime Minister's office would not comment on Mr Turnbull's personal finances or how much he pays in tax.

However, Mr Turnbull, who did not come from a wealthy family and was raised by his father, has previously spoken about the importance of philanthropy in his life and giving back to the community, and said there should be more of it in Australia from the top-end of town.

When he and wife Lucy set up the Turnbull Foundation in 2001, their first donation of $93,000 was to the Redfern Foundation which supported underprivileged indigenous families.

"If you're a Christian you could say it's a Christian thing to do but every religion, every ethical system recognises the value of providing support to people that are not as well off as you are, or to causes, institutions that serve the community, be they hospitals or schools or more sort of social work-oriented organisations," he said then.

"I think we've got a much less developed tradition of philanthropy in Australia than in the United States."

Labor's attack ad states: "Turnbull has millions invested in funds which hold shares in dozens of big businesses which would benefit from the tax cuts." It poses the question, "Who exactly is Turnbull looking after?" and questions whether he is "just for the top end of town".

In response, Mr Turnbull yesterday said Labor leaders past, including his late mate Neville Wran, would be "horrified" by Mr Shorten's "mean-spirited" "politics of envy."

"That's apparently not the Labor way any more. You are not allowed to have a go or be successful."