Politics On Toast is doing well in the cabinet. Our very own AP Schrader was made Health Secretary and, now, Ventilator Blues has kicked George Osborne out of Westminster and has installed himself as Chancellor of the Exchequer. This is how ventilator Blues will save the economy:
Some months ago I reread P.J. O’Rourke’s seminal work “Parliament of Whores” and re-discovered a wonderful chapter on balancing the budget of the Federal Republic Beneath Canada. What fun it would be, I thought, to have a go myself and with the birth of Politics on Toast I do believe the time is right to take my own machete to the ever growing tentacles of HMG. So with all apologies to O’Rourke and absolutely no shame, here goes:
The last full year for which I have figures on government expenditure is 09/10 and it stood at £670 billion, this courtesy of the Guardian newspaper. (Itself a damning indictment of how poor the so-called right wing media is.) Borrowing for that year was £147 billion pounds. Therefore I have to reduce Mrs Windsor’s office expenditure to £523 billion. A daunting task for Nicky and Gideon and Davey-Wavey. An Heraclean effort that stumped The Holy Tone and Grondo Bworn. Ha. I said. Give me the butcher’s knife and I’ll get the economy growing and the government cowering in the abattoir.
First up. Debt interest payments. Screw ‘em. By the time I have finished balancing this mother we won’t need to borrow money so who cares if we can’t. While I am at it I’ll default the rest of £1 trillion in gilts. So that’s about £40-£50 billion saved per annum for EVER and I have literally done nothing. As for future debts we’ll syndicate to Iceland.
Department of Work and Pensions £157 billion. Foo-king-hell. And this excludes: child benefit, guardians’ allowance; widow’s pensions; statutory paternity pay, statutory adoption pay. Well. The pension age of 65 came in in 1910 and life expectancy was about 55 so let’s bump up pension age to 10 more than current check-out time of 75. So all the coffin dodgers suddenly become worthwhile members of society with full rights and obligations until 85. Which should clog up the letters department at Points of View for a while. Now the average life expectancy once you hit 60 is about 25 –say- 30 years so 10 years is 30%. Pensions must be half the Work and Pension’s expenditure and 30% of 50% of £157 billion is £28 billion. And 10% of the work bit – if they ARE working – £14 billion. Yee-ha! Nearly half way there and I haven’t even got to foreign aid.
Department of health £115 billion. That’s a lot a lot of cash. Get rid of all non-passport holders from all but emergency treatment. Charge £10 for a GP appointment (unless diagnosed with a long term condition) and £20 for a consultant. Make private health care tax-deductible and bump out anyone earning more than £100K from the NHS except for long term treatment and/or serious diseases. Stop all drug treatment for pillheads and stoners. They want methadone? They can buy it on the open market like I have to. 20%? Probably. £23 billion.
Department of Education – scrap all funding for non-courses from GCSE up to University. Return funding to any student who goes onto teach and commits to 10 years in the UK public sector system. Barclays wants 2:1 students from a good university – let THEM pay for the bugger to learn on the job. Let’s take 10% of this budget £7 billion in the kitty.
MoD – too many back room staff but its budget has been knackered for too long. So sack 1 in 2 of non-frontline personnel and 80% of the General Staff. 1 full general per 10 thousand troops. 1 full admiral per 10 thousand sailors and ditto for whatever the up-tiddly-up-uppers call their senior trolley-dolly. No saving but far fewer military bands slaughtering the Indiana Jones theme and far more Sir Algernon Farquar-Smythe (rtd.) letters to the Torygraph.
Communities and Local Government should properly be the responsibility of Communities and Local government. Sod the lot. £39 billion. Eric Pickles can pay for his own bin collections and pizza. That alone should boost the economy.
HMRC costs £39 billion. Bollocks. HMRC should be able to do what it does on £1 billion and then take what it needs when it screws some poor tax dodger. The rest is tax credits so I’ll stick the £38 billion over spend here to Work and pensions and call it the DSS. 10% in efficiency savings – all the rage nowadays – £4billion
Devolved Spending Scotland, Wales, NI. Bye-eee and shut the door behind you. £60 billion.
Home Office and Justice take £20 billion. Merge them again and – efficiency savings – just volunteers in magistrates as it used to be for example. £2 billion
Treasury. £13 billion!! Not in my world. Little more than a bank Clerk’s club – £500 million should keep them in abaci, erasers, paper and pencils. Most of the £13 billion was for bailouts and I wrote that debt off 20 minutes ago.
Cabinet Office £8 billion. For what? The PM needs a couple of secretaries and a staff of 50 tops. All the other departments have their own staff so 50 people plus supplies and sundries £100 million. I’ll be generous.
Department of International Development. International is the clue here. Not British so not a British Tax-payer concern. Dave can suck up to Gates and Branson if he wants a Nobel. £7 billion.
Culture media and sport. A little money here and there I can understand. Ensuring standards are up to scratch and not like FIFA. I also think museums should be free. But that can’t cost £7 billion. Half? Plus a £500 million bonus for the Olympic cost. So we’ll save £3billion.
Department of Rural affairs etc. Probably need this and spending is little more than an Osborne rounding error but the 33% spent on the environment bit can go. £1 billion.
Department of Energy AND Climate Change? What next the Department of Jews and Nazis? Climate’s always changing so we don’t need to do anything about that. Energy needs sorting and as we are miles away from tsunami land let’s up this budget and break our reliance on the Middle East and Scotland who will probably Foxtrot Oscar after I’ve sassenached the Scotland Office. How much is an Atomic plant £1 billion? Let’s have 30 – economies of scale – and we’ll pay up front. £25 billion increase.
Foreign and Commonwealth Office seems pretty good value at £3 billion but we only need 1 embassy in the EU surely? Stick all the foreign bods to the Commonwealth part.
Now all the other departments are fart-in-a-thunderstorm territory. I’ll set Norman Tebbit loose on them with the 10% efficiency saving target.
So MY budget for 2011 would cost us £440 billion(ish) I have given my abacus to the treasury remember. £230 billion less than Gideon’s effort and a full £83 billion more than required and I have solved all our CO2 emission problems and secured our energy supplies so that’ll assuage a whole bunch of guilt for lots of people.
So, to balance the budget. I have £80 billion to play with – £3 billion can go to reserves and contingencies funds. There are 30 million UK income tax payers. I’ll give them £2000 each this year and cut tax across the board by 5%. Next year I’ll cut taxes by 15%. Et voila a balanced budget, a low tax economy, no cut in benefits to the poorest, no loss in services to the UK taxpayer. And all these lower taxes will allow local authorities to up their tax take to cover what local provision has gone. But we’ll make that an income tax and prevent any councillor getting voting privileges in council unless turnout is 50% of the electorate. Scotland, Wales and NI can piss off.
No debt. Tax as a percentage of GDP at c.25%. Hello world, We’re back, we’re bad and we’re democratic. Just in time to watch the EU collapse into the mire and rebuild links to our true friends in the Commonwealth. Anyone for a Confederate Empire of equals all backed by a gold standard to prevent arsehole politicians from bankrupting the currency again?
That’s the last time I drink Gin before noon.