The Chancellor, George Osborne, has unveiled a dramatic Plan B to cut the country’s budget deficit by as much as 100,000% – while at the same time drastically reducing controversial banker’s pay and bonuses by the same amount.
The coalition government‘s idea is for the UK to revert to the pre-1975 definition of a billion – a million million (12 zeros) – before the country officially changed to the US definition it uses today – a thousand million (9 zeros).
The effect of the change would be to reduce the deficit overnight by a thousand times – or 100,000%.
A spokesperson for the Chancellor explained the thinking behind the plan:
Mr Osborne has been accused of not having a Plan B after everyone realised what a pig’s ear he was making of the economy. But not only does this brilliant idea prove he does have a Plan B to deal with the mess he’s made – it actually means that at a stroke he will have cut the UK deficit by a massive 100,000%!
Another side effect of the change would be that it would enable the government to markedly reduce another unpopular economic factor which – like the budget deficit- is regularly counted in the billions: bankers’ bonuses.
However, the spokesperson explained that the Chancellor’s success in reducing the budget deficit would not mean that planned austerity measures and cuts to public services would need to be shelved:
Reverting back to the old definition of a billion will actually mean we’ll have to increase the amount of cuts by 100,000% too. So after this change, we’ll barely have enough money to pay for a roll of sticking plaster and a second-hand blackboard never mind a fully functioning Health Service and state education for everyone.
The spokesperson also strongly denied accusations that changing the definition of a billion would mean that nothing had actually improved in reality:
There would be a massive improvement in reality – for us anyway – because once our friends in the right-wing media, The Sun, The Mail, The BBC, have finished reporting how we’ve reduced both the budget deficit and bankers’ bonuses by such a huge amount – we’ll be ahead in the polls again, won’t we?
For an explanation of the actual reasoning behind the Chancellor’s idea, have a look at this fascinating video:
How big is a billion?
If I’ve made a mistake in the mathematics here – maths isn’t my strongest point I admit – please feel free to point it out in the comments.
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