Department of Finance Defends Runaway Inflationary Bullshit

The Department of Finance today defended as “honourable and in the best traditions of the civil service” its use of rampant, wholly misleading bullshit in the recently published Information Note on the Economic and Budgetary Outlook 2011-2014 http://www.finance.gov.ie/viewdoc.asp?DocID=6566&UserLang=EN&StartDate=01+January+2010

The Permanent Secretary of the Department, Mr. Humphrey Fitzmorris, spoke with reporters today about the Note.

The Department of Finance stressed how much it had in common with ordinary people.

The Department of Finance stressed how much it had in common with ordinary people.

“I assure you,” he said suavely, dressed in a tailor-made suit from Hawkes of Savile Row, “that the Department of Finance has never been anything more than completely transparent and open with the Irish people, as our recent publication of the Information Note clearly demonstrates.”

“After all, we are only too happy to share the good news about the nation’s economy with our friends and neighbours.”

Despite Mr. Fitzmorris’ claims, the Information Note contains a number of cryptic passages that required some decoding in order for their meaning to be understood. Section 1(a) states that “The exporting sector looks set to record a fairly robust performance this year reflecting stronger than expected global growth and the significant improvements in competitiveness that have taken place.” The Note declines to say what these improvements are until the bottom of the following paragraph, when it optimistically notes, “Wage data are also consistent with competitiveness improvements, with hourly earnings declining on an annual basis in the first half of this year.”

“Mr. Fitzmorris, doesn’t this mean that people are earning less money?” asked Bill Hughes, of the Irish Times.

Mr. Fitzmorris laughed condescendingly and leaned back smugly in his chair. “Why, that is a very populist way of putting it,” chuckled Mr. Fitzmorris, smoothing his €3,000 tie. “Wage adjustments are absolutely essential for competitiveness improvements. Don’t you see that if the average person in Ireland is earning less money then the economy as a whole will be doing better?”

“But what good will that be to the average person?” asked Mr. Hughes in confusion.

Competitiveness improvements should soon make this a familiar Irish scene.

Competitiveness improvements should soon make this a familiar Irish scene.

“My good man, the ability of the Irish people to accept low wages will mean we can compete for invaluable sweatshop investment with the likes of China and Indonesia. As the Note explains, ‘Price and wage data confirm that the necessary competitiveness adjustments are well underway, which is testament to the inherent flexibility of the Irish economy.’ Once people see how flexible our workers are, unlike those ghastly French, we’ll have a boom in capitalist exploitation… I mean, investment, in our low-wage flexible economy.”

“Is the pay of politicians and senior civil servants also flexible?” asked Robert Dunne of the Irish Independent.

Mr. Fitzmorris gasped in indignation. “Certainly not!” he spluttered, appalled. “Why, high wages (by an international standard) need to be paid to the people at the top to ensure we get people of great individual talent and integrity. Otherwise this country would be in an even worse mess than it is already, and that’s saying something given the complete balls we made of everything.”

“What about unemployment, you pompous fuck?” shouted Jim Arnott of The Irish Sun.

“Now there’s no need for profanity,” said Mr. Fitzmorris reprovingly. “It’s all explained in Section 1(a) of the Note. ‘There is mounting evidence that the level of employment is beginning to stabilise, albeit at a much reduced level from its peak. For instance, the rate of employment loss in the second quarter of the year was the slowest since the first quarter of 2008. Nevertheless, employment looks set to decline by around 4% this year.’”

“So when you said that employment was beginning to stabilise…?”

Net outward migration has made great improvements to the employment rate within Ireland.

Net outward migration has made great improvements to the employment rate within Ireland.

“I meant that employment isn’t falling any faster than it already is; we’ve managed to hold the line at a general unemployment loss rate of 4% per year. Of course, this is largely possible because of ‘a resumption of significant net outward migration,’ which means that all the excess unemployed have left the country already.”

“Our readers might be interested in knowing if you have any way of making the employment level go up,” asked John Farnley of The Examiner.

“But of course John!” said Mr. Fitzmorris patronisingly. “I do wish you journalists would take the time to read the note. In section 3(a) it says quite clearly that ‘Unemployment could potentially fall further over the period, if various structural reforms being implemented as part of the Plan have a greater than expected impact.’”

“What does that mean?”

“It means that we’re putting much more money on the Lotto,” said Mr. Fitzmorris defensively. “True, we don’t expect to win the jackpot once a month, but if we did we could definitely afford to hire more people.”

Mr. Fitzmorris denied having anything in common with Sir Humphrey Appleby.

Mr. Fitzmorris denied having anything in common with Sir Humphrey Appleby.

“So,” said Brian Stakelum of RTE, scratching his head in bewilderment, “the Information Note really says that the economy might improve if people earn less money, and unemployment will continue to rise at only a steady rate because so many people are emigrating, and that we might see growth in exports if the global economy recovers, which we can’t really forecast and can’t influence in any way, and the only plan you have is to hope that something really unexpected happens?”

“Can you answer this simple question: this country is fucked, isn’t it?”

Mr. Fitmorris smiled benignly down upon the growing anger in the room. “Only from where you’re standing, down there with the common man,” he said smugly.

“From where I’m sitting, everything is just fine.”

One Response to Department of Finance Defends Runaway Inflationary Bullshit

  1. 1651ce says:

    Humphrey…the waffler

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