Tony Abbott indicates he will stay in parliament

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Former Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott speaks to the media at Parliament House in Canberra, September 15, 2015. Australia got its fifth prime minister in eight years after the ruling Liberal Party on Monday voted out Tony Abbott in favor of longtime rival Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter support. Reuters/Matt Siegel

Former Prime Minister Tony Abbott dropped a cue at an exclusive gathering of Liberals on Sunday that he will continue to remain in parliament despite the results of a recent poll that suggested that voters wanted him to step down and make way for new candidates. He also criticised Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull’s plans at the gathering.

“I will be working to ensure that we have the best possible government out of next year’s election,’’ The Guardian quoted the former prime minister as saying. “We will do everything we humanly can to ensure the best possible Coalition government is there in Canberra. And I know we will all be working, together, for that great end.’’  

The event was organised by former Defence Minister Kevin Andrews, an Abbott loyalist who was removed from his role after Turnbull came to power in September. The invite-only event comprised of Liberals who still hold their loyalty to Abbott.

Abbott also said that a change to the tax system should bring about lower, simpler and fairer taxes. It should not be a change just for the sake of bringing a change.

“I have a very simple mantra when it comes to tax change,’’ The Daily Telegraph quoted Abbott as saying. “The results of tax change has got to be tax which is lower, simpler and fairer. If it doesn’t produce taxes that are lower, simpler and fairer it’s not reform. It is just change. We want change that’s worth it, not just change for changes sake.’’

Turnbull has announced that the Council of Australian governments will reach a decision on the tax reform in its next meeting in March. According to the coalition, changes to all kinds of tax options will put on the table.

Earlier this month, Abbott said that he has not yet made up his mind as to whether he should return to politics or not but indicated that he might.

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