Exciting news from the Department of Sorting Things Out Once and For All, the Government super-ministry with a task to address issues that have been intractable no matter which political party is in power.
In association with the Office for Blue Sky Thinking, the department has launched the following initiatives:
l A task force of traffic wardens has been mobilised to deal with the problem of lengthy hospital waiting times. Patients blocking corridors while waiting for treatment will have their trolleys clamped and towed away. Out-patients sitting for more than an hour at clinics will be issued penalty tickets. An NHS official said: "These measures will go a long way to addressing the concern of congestion with excessive numbers of people seeking treatment."
l The Scottish Premier League is to be in charge of Scotland's weather. This comes after the recent SPL winter shutdown resulted in the mildest January since records began. Easter, Glasgow Fair and September weekend shutdowns are scheduled in the search for sunshine. The SPL is looking at reconstruction of the seasons of the year. The favoured option is a three-tier structure with winter being phased out entirely. An SPL spokesperson said: "We will be busy with meteorological matters and have to scale down our football operation. Fans are advised to stay home and watch the Spanish league on TV."
l Wonga, the online moneylender, will be brought in by the Government to deal with the unwillingness or inability of the major banks to issue loans to small and medium-sized businesses. Companies will be able to arrange cash advances in less than 15 minutes, often at attractive interest rates lower than 1000%.
l The Department for Work and Pensions will subcontract benefit payment to bookmakers. A DWP official said: "It's well-known most claimants are workshy ne'er-do-wells who spend a lot of time in the bookies. The plan is to engage them in games of chance such as Universal Benefit Double Or Quits and recoup billions of pounds for the Exchequer."
Similarly, the Department of Industry will recruit Noel Edmonds as consultant on a Deal or No Deal approach to inward investment. Camelot will be brought in by the Department of Employment to run job creation schemes based on scratch cards and the bonus ball in the National Lottery.
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