It’s starting to seem a little like some weird Freaky Friday-esque mishap has occurred where somehow Malcolm Turnbull has traded his smug, well-spoken charm for Bill Shorten‘s nervous, timid flustering and in exchange Shorten got, well, a bit less bad.
As he’s started dropping in the polls following the post-Abbott honeymoon period, Turnbull has started to give the impression of a man losing the very confident grip he had on the public, not just policy-wise but also in his public appearances.
His Tuesday evening interview with Leigh Sales on 7.30 saw him stammer his way through questions about South Australia‘s new $50 billion submarine building contract and his decision to keep negative gearing.
Sales grilled him about just how much of the submarines were to be built in Australia and how much extra money the country had spent by not offshoring construction to established builders like France or Japan, both of which he was unable to answer.
Things got particularly heated when Sales moved on to negative gearing – seriously check out how much Mal is blinking, it’s too many blinks:
One particularly interesting highlight as he tries to argue that negative gearing mostly benefits average Australians is Turnbull choosing a plumber who earns $100k a year as his “average” Australian, and then compares them to a “wealthy” person:
“Now let me give you an example, however, of how unjust and ill-thought-out and reckless Labor’s plan is. Under Labor’s plan, a plumber who’s earning $100,000 a year would not be able to negative gear … against his income as a plumber. However, a wealthy person with investment income – dividends, rents, interest of $100,000 a year – would be able to negative gear against their investment income.”
You can check out the tense negative gearing bit here or you can watch the whole thing on iView: