Tuesday, December 20, 2005

End Of Term Report

"Last term Rufus hit rock bottom. This term he started drilling."

If only the annual IMF Report could be like that. But the reality is the measured language of international financial diplomacy. What you really need is a translation, and luckily for you, Tyler is just the man to give it.

IMF: "Recent deficits, while not an immediate threat to economic performance in a benign world environment, need to be reined in." Meaning: Government borrowing is out of control and if anything goes wrong in the global economy, the UK is f*****.

IMF: "The Pre-Budget Report contains welcome plans for an appropriate adjustment." Meaning: the announced increase in taxes is a small step in the right direction, but there needs to be much more: you ain't seen nothin' yet.

IMF: "The envisaged spending restraint, a critical ingredient of the planned adjustment, will require careful planning." Meaning: Health and Education spending is heading for a massive squeeze: there will be howls of anguish; elections may be lost.

IMF: "A strength of the fiscal framework is a system of auditing by the National Audit Office." Meaning: Gordo can't be trusted with the numbers, especially now they're going wrong, so get the NAO to monitor the whole lot.

IMF: "The fiscal rules are playing an important role in disciplining fiscal policy, although at times this role is overshadowed by peripheral controversies." Meaning: Gordo's cheating- see previous para.

Of course, the IMF's tone may change a couple of years from now. After all, we can remember the last time the IMF really got close to a Labour Chancellor.

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