Shadow Treasurer Joe Hockey’s attack on Treasurer Wayne Swan ran into trouble almost before it began.

His suggestion that the Government reign-in the big banks over interest rates, was almost derailed by his own party.

Phoebe Parsons reports.

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Joe Hockey started proceedings on the front foot.

Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “Now is the time for the Treasurer to step up to the plate and actually be listened to.”

However, he couldn’t count on support from his own side of politics.

Don Randall, Shadow Parliamentary Secretary: “This is typical of Bob Brown before the election and during the election. This is just another one of their as I said lunatic fringe type ideas.”

The damaged attack has left Joe Hockey under political fire.

He said it’s time for the treasurer to use the power of his position to prevent the major banks from raising interest rates above reserve bank adjustments.

Claiming there were many actions the treasurer could take but failed to be specific.

Joe Hockey, Shadow Treasurer: “There are a range of mechanisms that can and should be used but let me make it very explicit this is a debate that we as a nation need to have about the future of banking.”

Treasurer Wayne Swan said it’s an absurd intervention from Mr Hockey to which his own party is not even prepared to support.

Phoebe Parsons, QUT News.