The twins find 6.2 billion

So far I am the only person I know who preferred a hung parliament and who is reasonably happy with the twins running our country so far. That does not mean I have any real confidence that they will survive the full term or that they will not make any really stupid mistakes. With those caveats let’s take a quick look at what the twins and their boys (not many girls in this cabinet) have done so far.

Like any consultant coming into a company they had to make their mark quickly to show they were in control and give some appearance they in fact had some clue as to what they are doing. It started with the twins speaking to us from the rose garden – now that was tacky, but the nation loved it.

Then they cut all ministerial salaries by 5% and froze them for the length of this parliament. Interesting concept – all you need to do to get a raise is scupper the government. But it showed they are serious about cutting and they are willing to start with themselves. I thought this was very admirable, though I was a little surprised how small the reaction was. Of course I had not realised that we have the biggest collection of multi millionaires running the country we have had in a long time, so it was more a gesture. The gesture lost something when twin 2 needed a house with 115 rooms or so to roam around on the weekends. Sounds like a nightmare to me with young kids.

So then came the 6.2 billion in cuts – which turns out to be 5.7 billion I think. Great move guys! I am impressed. Two weeks running the largest organisation in the country and you managed to find 5.7 billion. Well, let me tell you, every consultant on this globe, no matter how incompetent can find 1% of a budget to cut. This is especially easy when you find items you probably cannot measure later, but it makes a good impression. It shows how tough you are but I for one am not fooled – I have seen consultants pull this trick too often.

The other aspect is of course that like most consultants the twins are unlikely to have to live with the consequences of their recommendations as they are there for a limited period. No doubt a next government can then tell us how incompetent the twins were, just like they keep jabbering on about the Labour lot. I wonder whether the new CEO of Marks & Spencer will get a note from his predecessor and then spend his first months telling us how bad Mr Rose was?

Of course the full budget review coming up will be much more interesting. In under two weeks even the brilliant minds of the twins are not going to be able to find much. Making people redundant will cost a fortune; breaking contracts entered into by Labour will cost another fortune and I am confident they will find there are increases in the budget ahead which even their best intentions cannot avoid.

I shudder when I read about putting the road system in a PFI type structure. We already have a large number of failing and very costly PFI projects – I wonder how these are reflected in our national debt. It will raise short term capital which will make it look like the debt is reduced, but in fact we have a long term commitment to make payments – ouch! That is debt in my book. Watch out twins, you will be seeing more of these commitments winging your way as you start digging.

So the twins are off to a good start, and I look forward to our next elections when it all starts again.

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