FORMER Australian leader Tony Abbott has delivered instructions and a plea to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in a television interview, telling the PM to focus on the Budget and asking to be brought back into Cabinet.

Mr Abbott's comments on Sky News come as the Federal Government prepares for its final sitting week of the year.

He said he would still be an effective Cabinet minister because "you don't have to idolise someone to be able to work with them".

In the same interview, Mr Abbott told the Sky News host that he did not want to "offer public advice to the prime minister", before adding that he was able to free range and talk on whatever topic he likes while a backbencher, something he wouldn't be able to do as a Cabinet minister.

Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull

He also suggested the prime minister focus on debt, and consider reviving some of the policies he and former Treasurer Joe Hockey pushed during their unpopular 2014 Budget.

He said if Australia failed to pay down that debt, it was akin to "intergenerational theft" and stealing from the next generation.

Mr Abbott also confirmed that he was writing another book that would be a manifesto for centre-right politics.

He said he would release it when he was "good and ready".

Prior to the 2016 election, Mr Abbott flagged that he may not re-contest his seat of Warringah.

When he decided to continue as a backbencher following "support and encouragement", colleagues including Eric Abetz said Mr Abbott "is absolutely no Kevin Rudd" and would not destabilise the government.

"Kevin Rudd was always about one thing only: Kevin Rudd," Mr Abetz said in January.

"Whereas Tony Abbott has always been about one thing, namely the Australian people."

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