Shadow Treasurer Malcolm Turnbull's knickers are in a knot. The Liberal Party has decided to unload all that was John Howard's, after Howard led the Liberal Party, and himself, to defeat at the last election.
His latest trigger is that the Government's submission to the Fair Pay Commission does not ask for a dollar amount. What he wanted was a figure that he could then use to try to dissemble an argument against the Government, both through the media, and in Parliament. Having not give him an exact figure, and therefore a means to score political points, Mr Turnbull is throwing his own personal tanty, using the media.
The Fair Pay Commission has received submissions on a rise in the minimum wage, currently $522/week. Unions want a rise of $26, business groups want only $13. A $13 rise would see the wages of people fall, in real terms: it is not enough to match the rate of inflation.
The problems for the Opposition, and Mr Turnbull as Shadow Treasurer, are threefold.
The first is that they, individually and collectively, allowed John Howard to establish the Fair Pay Commission, set its agenda, and lower the wages of people in real terms. They voted for it, and then made people wait almost 2 years after its establishment for any sort of pay rise.
The second problem for the Opposition is that, having refused to recommend a dollar amount of rise in its own submission, it then hypocritically calls for the Government to do so.
And then there's Malcolm Turnbull's media tanty!