The undeclared campaign for the next federal election has kicked off, with the senior figures of each major party accusing the other side of making insane, loopy and deluded claims.
Federal Labor's plan to look at expanding portable leave entitlements was in the public arena for mere hours before Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter claimed it was the most "colossal, radical change" in Australian history.
Labor leader Anthony Albanese had proposed to talk with state and territory governments, unions and industry on where and how sick leave, annual leave and long service leave could be made portable. Existing schemes in Queensland cover the social and community sector; and construction, community, cleaning and security sectors in the ACT.
Mr Porter told reporters that to propose expanding entitlements and putting the cost on business "as business is struggling through the toughest times they have seen since World War II is absolutely insane - full stop - insane".
It's not clear if Mr Porter was aware that Labor had not proposed doing so.
Labor's spokesperson Tony Burke accused the government of inventing a proposal that didn't exist, putting a cost on it, and occupying the media with fiction.
"He's made up a big, fat lie," Mr Burke said.
"It's not that I'm quibbling with the costings. It's entirely an invention ... I hope he's not that deluded, because the whole thing's loopy."
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