New Brunswick — The Liberal government announced the 2015 budget today, and with it, the cuts and cost-saving measures to keep New Brunswick on life support for another year. Perhaps the most surprising new cost-saving measure is to downgrade all government-paid toilet paper from single-ply to half-ply, which is expected to save almost $11.5 million in the upcoming fiscal year.
This affects schools, government buildings, and park and public restrooms. The announcement doesn’t sit well, however, with public servants and students affected by the change. Many claim that single-ply wasn’t enough ply to begin with, and that the government is trying to force them to bring their own toilet paper from home.
“I already had to fold the single-ply paper twice for it to be useful, and I’d be using up double the paper that way. This is going to need to be folded at least 4 times so it doesn’t fall apart, maybe more. Why can’t they cheap out somewhere else?” groaned an irate Martin Thorpe, a civil servant not close enough to retirement to have any motivation in life.
Thorpe and others like him are petitioning for all of the affected washrooms to instead have bidets, which according to them would be a better way to save money and resources. Bidets, popular in forward-thinking European and Asian countries, would allow the user to rinse their nether region with light, tingling water left over from fracking operations.
“Half-ply is the way to go. We will flush this deficit out of our economy and close the lid on debt!” quipped Premier Brian Gallant when he made the announcement to a groaning assortment of press and politicians.
Students who are used to living frugally think that the premier and the province should switch to a “student life” mindset to apply to their spending and budget.
“People on welfare can be given Kraft Dinner. We’d save a bunch of money there. Government meetings can be catered with Kraft Dinner. Kraft Dinner is the solution to every monetary problem,” said an orange-tinted Linda Jacobs, a student at St. Thomas University who claims to be well-versed in frugal fine dining. “Just don’t make us downgrade the toilet paper even more. It’s bad enough already. When I visit home in Nova Scotia I have to steal my parents’ Charmin double-ply moisturized deluxe toilet paper to stock up for my academic terms in New Brunswick.”
The Manatee will continue to update with more budget developments and the inevitable ensuing backlash.