Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne is dead keen on balancing the budget.
For the past 5 years, he has been standing in the middle of his office at 11 Downing Street with the red Budget Box perched atop his head, trying to get it to balance.
It’s taken poor George longer than he thought. There have been times when he’s thought he’s finally got it in a perfect equipoise, only for it to overreach and fall off.
Sometimes, there aren’t as many tax receipts as he’d like, tilting it to the right. At other times, the bills for government spending are a bit heftier than expected, tilting it to the left
The pressure is on, as he has promised to balance the budget by 2018. His detractors worry that all the time spent campaigning over the last few weeks has distracted George from this vital task. But no worry, for campaigning purposes he has been replaced by a cassette player that repeats ‘long-term economic plan’ incessantly.
The election campaign hasn’t been kind to George. With both main parties neck and neck in the polls, politicians have resorted the traditional electoral ploy of trying to bribe the electorate with its own money.
The Tories have decided to shower money left, right and centre to get that elusive majority. Discounted council houses. Discounted shares. A cut in income tax to show it pays to work hard. And even if you don’t work hard, a cut in inheritance tax to show it pays to have elderly, wealthy relatives.
Balancing the budget has seen taxes rise, benefits cut, and public services reduced – proving that this act has been a pain in the neck for the great British public as well as for Mr. Osborne.
P.S. I can’t take the credit for the joke about the Treasury minister balancing the budget on his head. It can be found in Roald Dahl‘s Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator – sequel to the more famous Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. It is contained in one of the funniest chapters committed to print.