News in Brief-Consumer Fear Decreasing While HSE Announces Major Cuts

After last week’s fear of the number thirteen putting the clamps on car buying, this week the Central Statistics Office reports Irish consumer fear is in fact decreasing. We’re increasingly more happy to splash the cash despite the recession being far from over. However rather than an indication of increased wealth these figures only represent the ‘sentiment’ of Irish shoppers, so we’re not crying over our cabbages anymore but we’re still far from boom buying.

The HSE has announced it is to make cuts worth €130 million over the remainder of the year in order to meet Troika’s targets and remain “within budget”. Furniture is listed as one of the areas the executive plans to cut back as well as advertising those crazy, comfortable commercialists. More worrying education and training are also noted as being for the chop. Where will we go when our Doctors don’t know what they’re doing? And where will we sit?!
Apparently 79% of elderly people who live alone do not have internet access, according to the Central Statistics Office (those guys!). Is this news? Age Action Ireland obviously think so. A representative is quoted by thejournal.ie as saying the findings are “worrying”, what because they don’t know what’s trending at the moment? They don’t know what a face book is? The poor sods. Lack of access also causes “barriers for older people to upskill in IT”. Just what we need, more job competition. What a load of . . .

Talking of which Elvis Presley’s unwashed underpants are up for auction. Expected to reach €13,000 next week in Stockport, Cheshire the pants were part of one of Presley’s stage outfits designed to prevent a VPL (visible panty line, for those not versed in the frustrations of fashionistas everywhere.) If only I had a spare €13,000 – then I’d have a spare €13,000.

Back in Ireland it’s Electric Picnic weekend! Hurrah! The final festival of the season and it’s bound to be a good one. Festival survival guides suggest bringing along the usual sun cream, wet weather gear and allow plenty of time for travel. Happy campers are also advised only 48 cans of alcohol per person are allowed. That’s sixteen cans each evening Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you do manage to get through that lot, festival organisers have advised that alcohol will be available for purchase on site. Thank god.
It is officially silly season – especially after all those pints – the time of the year when with politicians set to out-of-office the media is full of frivolous drivel and a general stupid stupor descends until Christmas. No more so than the Essex lion that stalked Clacton on Monday igniting the nationwide intrigue as well as a hastily created Essex lion twitter account. A mass scrambling of police searching out the beast was called off when it turned out to be a house cat.
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