Highly implausible story No.6

 

How can this be true it hasn't happened yet!

Meeting at Number Ten; November 2005

"Are we all here Deputy PM?"

"No Prime Minister there's still quite a few missing".

"Go and have a look outside and take the coffee fund tin with you."

"Why PM have we run out?"

"No you pillock, haven't you heard yet? Just because you've got a key to the secret underground passage via the cellar you obviously haven't heard the latest news concerning our friend the Mayor."

"What's that PM? You've finally let him join the Labour Party?"

"No you nitwit, perish the thought. It's the "London Initiative for Minimising Pedestrians", he's extending it."

"Is that the "LIMP" initiative I heard about on Radio 4 PM a couple of weeks ago. I wondered what on earth they were talking about."

"Yes Deputy PM. He's installing extra turnstiles everywhere. There's even one at the end of Downing Street now and it's got a credit card slot in it as well as one for coins.

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, who as you know lives next door, was the first to fall foul of it. When he went out this morning to get the paper everything was fine but when he came back a chap had just finished fitting a turnstile and he couldn't get back. He was a little embarrassed because he was still in his slippers and dressing gown but, being the Chancellor of the Exchequer of course, he had his credit card in his pyjama pocket."

"So what's the problem PM? Couldn't he just put his card in the slot?"

"He did but the turnstile machine spat it out and the chap fitting the turnstile took it and cut it into pieces. He said it was because of the message that came up saying that there were no funds and he had an enormous overdraft. I had to go out and put in 25 euro coins to let him in."

"Why didn't he use his Daimler PM?"

"Because there's been a chap at the gate demanding 50 euros each way to go through the gate. Last week it was 30 euros but there's been a price rise because the number of cars in London is still going up."

"Why do you suppose that is PM?"

"It's all because of the "Developments to Allocate Free Transport"."

"Oh yes PM the "DAFT Scheme", that was on Radio 4 as well but I wasn't really listening."

"Well it all started at the end of last year. The Mayor made the tubes free but by Christmas so many people were using them the passageways jammed solid and people couldn't get in or out. He couldn't do a U-turn so he came up with this "LIMP" idea to charge people to use the streets. He had turnstiles placed at the exits from the tubes so that you'd have to pay to get onto the street. He also put barriers across pavements with turnstiles in them. Lots of people started to use their cars again because it was too expensive to walk anywhere.

"In fact I heard yesterday there's hundreds of people going round and round the circle line that can't afford to come up to the surface. There was an appeal on Radio 1 for food parcels for them.

There's so many turnstiles that to go from here to Waterloo Station on foot costs 200 euros."

"I suppose I could get a new chain for my bike PM and use that?"

"Well you could Deputy PM but remember the Bicycles and Tandems Tax Initiative? That was the first scheme to be introduced after congestion charging started to go wrong. It was to deter car users parking outside London and using one of those clever new fold-up bikes. There were so many cars parked around London that the Mayor introduced a 250 euros bicycle tax for anyone cycling into the City. That was the "BATTI" tax."

"Well at least half the cabinet's here PM that can't be bad."

"That's because they're my new lodgers Deputy PM. I rent them all rooms upstairs. We don't need them all, now the kids have left home. And anyway I appreciate the few quid, sorry euros, coming in to help with the family budget especially with this new clean air tax that's rumoured to be coming in next month."

"What's that one PM?"

"Well there's so little clean air in London now that we're going to be charged to use it. Either you bring your own bottled air with you or you'll have to pay to breathe.

Pass the coffee Deputy PM, before you pop out."

Sound of lots of feet stamping up the stairs.
The door bursts open and the remainder of the cabinet bustle in.

"About time you lot.
We've been waiting absolutely hours.
What kept you?"

"Well PM we turned up early but it would have cost so much to get into Downing Street we decided to teach that Mayor chappie a lesson."

"Go on Reggie. Surprise me."

"We hired a minibus and all came through in it for 50 euros.
And it'll only cost the same to get out again because we parked it outside your front door.
There's twelve of us and that saved us 550 euros each way!"

"Hang on Reggie. What about the expense of the mini bus?"

"Oh yes PM I forgot. That cost us 19.99 euros for the day. It was on special offer. It belongs to the Shadow Transport Secretary. He said we could have it at that rate if we took it for the month."

"Well I just hope it doesn't leave a nasty oily patch outside my front door. I know all about that chap's money-making schemes.

Right you lot, sit down and lets start the meeting.

It's about the new Selective Income Limitation Legislation Yardstick."

"That's a mouthful PM. What does it mean?"

"Now lads and lasses what I'm going to tell you is in the strictest confidence. No-one is to breathe a word about what I'm going to tell you.

You've all must have realised by now that your wages seem to be going up so fast that none of you has to worry about money any more."

Looks towards the Chancellor of the Exchequer. "Except you; you great wally. You can never balance the books.

Well I had the idea we might sort of formalise what we've been doing for years. The idea is that the more important your job the more money you get. Sounds perfectly reasonable doesn't it. Well we're going to have a job importance factor, that's the "yardstick" bit. You don't need half a brain to realise that the less you earn the less is the importance of your job. The less you earn the less you contribute to taxes."

"That's right PM. Some people hardly pay anything. Doesn't seem fair to me. The more important you are the more money you have to pay to maintain the standards we've all become used to. Why should people like tramps benefit from the wonderful new inter-city express toll-routes."

"Quite right Malcolm! So from now on we're going to redress the balance. The more you earn the less taxes you pay and the less you earn the more you pay. The Labour Party has always stood for equality so there's nothing new to this idea.

"Limitation" of tax bills for important people, that's the aim.

You remember how we used to go about it donkeys years ago? First we got rid of Super Tax. Then we put a ceiling on Council Tax. Nobody really noticed except important people like us. People generally didn't notice what we'd done because we knocked a penny off income tax. When the Chancellor said that would mean everyone would pay billions of pounds less tax everyone believed him. Some of those stealth taxes were fantastic. Hardly anyone realised what was happening. Especially when we pinched everyone's pension. That was really super. Encourage everyone to save money each month by paying into a pension fund then a quick sleight of hand, a new tax here and there and we'd extracted most of the cash for the good of the country ho ho.

Anyway now we're going to formalise things.

It'll be called The New Tax Credit and it'll be calculated via tables based on the "SILLY" factor. Remember how we used to pay low earners, what was effectively a "cash-back" scheme. Good heavens! Some people didn't pay income tax... we actually paid them!

Absolute nonsense! From now on everyone will pay the same amount of tax. That's true equality. If people can't afford to pay they can take out a loan. It's already been tried out. Remember "Student Loans". No-one complained too much about those. Most students felt really important going into a bank and asking for a loan. The more they got the more important they felt."

"How can people pay back the new loans when they're not earning enough money PM?"

"They can get more important jobs of course, you idiot."

"What if they aren't qualified for an important job PM?"

"Well it doesn't seem to have affected you does it you buffoon?"

"Let's have a quick show of hands to make it formal and I'll get it sorted in The House tomorrow. Now we don't have to actually turn up there I'll get an extraordinary meeting organised. Deputy PM you go round to the Opposition and tell them they don't have to turn up, they'll be wasting their time.

Now if that's all, pass the chocolate digestives and you can all buzz off in your minibus."

 

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