VIDEO: Michelle Grattan and Deep Saini on Tony Abbott’s latest throw of the grenade

Tony Abbott gave another jab at Malcolm Turnbull’s leadership this week in a speech and in an interview on Sky. Michelle Grattan tells University of Canberra vice-chancellor Deep Saini that Abbott’s intervention will be badly received by a number of his colleagues.

“I think that he really has lost a lot of support by running this negative commentary on the government over some months now. But nevertheless in the public mind the message is: the Liberals are divided and that is bad for Malcolm Turnbull.”

The Fair Work Commission’s decision to cut Sunday and public holiday penalty rates for workers in certain industries forebodes a new battle between Labor and the Coalition.

“Certainly Bill Shorten has taken up this issue very strongly and said that Labor will fight the decision. If it can’t get any change it will – when in government – legislate to essentially clip the wings of the Fair Work Commission,” Grattan says.

“Now, the commission is an independent body. It’s the industrial umpire and so the government can say: ‘well, it’s not us. It was the umpire’. Of course this decision appeals to the base of the conservative parties but I think it presents a real problem for Malcolm Turnbull because people will lose money.”

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