Submissions closed last week for a senate inquiry into the Remuneration and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2011, which quickly passed the House of Representatives in March. The bill’s innocuous title belies a consequential proposal to shift responsibility for the pay of our politicians and senior public officials from the government to the Remuneration Tribunal.

The bill’s progress has generated little remark -- the inquiry only received four submissions – but its effects will ultimately spark heated debate.