Peter Slipper
Peter Slipper

Taxpayers to pay Slipper's legal costs: blame Labor

THE former Labor government has been blamed for taxpayers having to foot the bill for former Speaker Peter Slipper's legal costs in the James Ashby saga.

Taxpayers will also have to pay for the government to defend an action brought against Mr Slipper by another one of his former advisers, Karen Doane.

Special Minister of State Michael Ronaldson said media reports the Coalition Government had agreed to pay Mr Slipper's legal costs were wrong.

"This was a decision of the former Labor government that the current government is bound by and required to comply with," he said.

Mr Ronaldson said in 2013 that the former government approved an "act of grace payment" to Mr Slipper for his net legal costs in the Federal Court proceedings brought against him by Mr Ashby.

This decision meant the government didn't even know what the final cost would be. It's now expected to add up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Taxpayers will also have pay for the government to defend Ms Doane's claim of unlawful discrimination.

So far, $113,822 has been spent on this case, with the government defending these proceedings separately to Mr Slipper.

"The legal proceedings involving Karen Doane have been instituted by Ms Doane against Mr Slipper as first respondent and the Commonwealth as second respondent," Mr Ronaldson said. "The Commonwealth is defending these proceedings separately to Mr Slipper."

Mr Slipper is liable for his own costs in this matter as well as his own costs for his upcoming case about alleged misuse of entitlements.

James Ashby and Karen Doane also have to fund their own cases.



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