Friday, April 24, 2009

The Morning After Two Nights Before

And so we now know the consequences: liabilities outstretching income, debt cascading down the years and across the generations, little to look forward to but decades of cheese-paring, penny-pinching, scrimping and saving. But enough of Wednesday's bar bill: today it is time to delve even further into the consequences of this week's Budget statement than I did yesterday if such a feat is possible.

The more time that the economists - yes, that same dismal group who did so brilliantly in predicting the recent near-collapse of capitalism(1) - have had to spend looking over the figures set out in Finance Minister Ollsta Luvvahly's "puce book", the plainer it has become that the Albian economy is riding towards hell in a jet-powered handcart.

We have also discovered that Mr Luvvahly shares his predecessor Bragdny Door's predilection for sleight-of-hand, with the detailed perusal of the books revealing that the Finance Minister has concealed billions of pounds of future cuts and tax rises up his sleeve - rather in the same way that stop-motion can reveal the shimmering wires supporting an allegedly levitating magician, or uncovered the mysteries of Paul Daniels wig in the 1980s. All in all it leaves the Budget looking rather like the work of a magician who, after sawing the proverbial woman in half, refuses to put her back together again - an operating procedure that will have to become standard practice throughout the Albian Health Service once those cuts begin to bite.

(1) really, who knew that the "new paradigm" those chaps kept claiming the economy was following was that of a Mars-Bar-n-pizza-stuffed bulimic vomiting at length and with great force into an unflushed lavatory pan?

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