A major rethink of the nation’s finances is underway today after UN lawyers discovered a forgotten clause in the Declaration of Human Rights, enshrining forever the entitlement of all to have a two-week holiday abroad irrespective of economic crises threatening their standard of living.
‘There are some universal human rights that we must simply never compromise on, no matter what the economic outlook,’ said David Cameron today. ‘The right to life, liberty and security of person, the right to freedom from persecution, and now the right to an all-inclusive late-autumn getaway to the Costa del Sol. My government agrees that no citizen of this country should have to face the humiliation of announcing to a group of friends in Starbucks that they’re ‘not able to go away this year’.’
The Prime Minister confirmed that the little-known clause had been discovered after UN staff found the document propping up a desk leg some 40 years after the Declaration was published, and just a day or so after the spending review announcement. ‘The timing is purely coincidental,’ said Cameron. ‘But it turns out that article 24 bangs on in quite some detail about the days drawing in, the onset of winter and middle England’s inalienable, legally-binding right to a half-term break in the sun once the full horror of the spending cuts has become clear.’
The new human right has been warmly welcomed by Britain’s upper-middle class professionals. ‘Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always been a big supporter of the Declaration of Human Rights,’ said Catriona Austin-Black, a financial adviser from Surrey, ‘but to me it always felt like it was missing something. There was plenty of stuff about freedom, equality and protection from harm, but surprisingly little about the importance of getting some me-time on a Greek island where the temperature still hits the high 70s in November.’
‘I know we’ve heard a lot about spending cuts in the last few weeks,’ said Simon Marston, a hedge-fund manager from Kent, ‘but the important thing is where we make the cuts. By making savings on my tax return and cutting my standing orders to charities, I’ve been able to ring-fence my foreign holidays budget for the next three years. And if I’m honest, I’m not feeling too guilty about stopping the donations to Oxfam. Those Ethiopians already get 52 weeks of sunshine a year.’
Although some economists have questioned where the country will find the money for these ‘fortnight human rights breaks’, David Cameron said he was confident the nation would muddle through somehow. ‘The important thing, as you relax with your friends in the Jacuzzi of an attractive Italian resort, is to remember that you’re all in it together.’