Prawn cocktail surfeit alone equivalent to decommissioning of the Ark Royal.
An investigation by accountancy firm J S Robertson has revealed a staggering 13% discrepancy between Whitehall’s requirements for the foil packed snacks and the orders which have been made over the last eighteen months. Until now, the surplus orders had simply gone unnoticed, leaving a previously undiscovered £15 billion black hole in the civil service budget.
At the unveiling of the report today Senior Accountant, Amy Wren, said, ‘I can understand that that it might be hard for the public to reconcile the figures involved with what many would consider to be a relatively minor expense. But when you realise that the extra multipacks are currently housed in a rented warehouse in Corby, the numbers start to add up.’
‘Following a lengthy enquiry, it has become clear that the crisis was caused by a series of mix-ups culminating in a catastrophic duplicate order for the Department of Work and Pensions away day.’
The response to the revelations has been swift and damning. Chancellor George Osborne has been forced to defend the most severe spending review in living memory from opposition claims it is ‘ultimately pointless, like a can of Lynx in a sewer.’ Faced with questions about how anyone could fail to notice £15 billion of expenditure James Francis, Head of Procurement for Facilities at the civil service, replied that ‘nobody had checked the bank account for a while.'
Mrs Wren sought to clarify the economic ramifications further, adding, ‘my firm’s fee for this investigation, for example, immediately negates any savings made from raising the pensionable age until 2086.’
To make matters worse for the administration, reports are beginning to surface that Whitehall officials have for weeks been attempting to cover up the crisis by round the clock ingestion of evidence and illegal waste disposal practises.
Today’s news acts as an ironic shadow to the 1943 incident when savings resulting from the discovery of endemic pencil sharpener overbuying were enough to fund the remainder of Britain’s war effort.