As the Controller entered his office he noted the green file sent in by the Value Chasers Department. He called for his secretary to fetch a coffee and relaxed back to read it. This was the most routine work the Department did and he usually only had to approve the actions.
Subject A. Single mother with two young children. Christmas was a horrendous time with huge bills and Christmas gifts. Subject A had noticed charity shops after Christmas received unwanted gifts. So she told her two infants Christmas was coming a week later, and bought the Christmas presents after Christmas brand new at a fraction of the price.
ACTION Tour charity shops after Christmas and buy up new gifts to be put out through market stall at new prices.
The Controller ticked approval.
Subject B. Working class man with a mathematical bent figured out a major prop of the bookies success was their detailed knowledge of horse racing statistics. Subject sought and found a comprehensive horse racing site giving detailed statistics. Same subject had also noticed that certain newspaper tipsters had a strike rate approaching 50%, with losing runs rarely over 4. He combined the two sets of information and was winning consistently.
ACTION Remove the free statistics site and replace with a subscription site. Influence the newspaper tipsters to drop their strike rate to average with arbitrary losing runs up to 19.
Subject C. Poor student but excellent shopper for value had discovered a high quality scent at a reasonable price from a national department store.
ACTION Have the product removed then re-marketed at a higher price.
Subject D. Elderly man keeping his electricity bill low by doing everything possible to limit his use.
ACTION Put a standing charge on the meter and front-load the price per unit so that the earliest units cost more.
Subject E. London retiree researched internet to find a cheap place to live outside London. Finds a Northern town where houses were cheap on a site which gave comparisons of cost of living in every part of the country.
ACTION Had cost of living comparison site removed from web. Buy to let landlords despatched to town to buy up houses cheap and charge standard rents.
Subject F. Woman working for a battered wives charity happened upon an article listing natural an-aphrodisiacs.
ACTION Priority – this could impact on the lucrative sex industry. Article removed from the web immediately and an ongoing search installed to remove all similar articles.
Controller made another tick and added “Well done”.
The Secretary entered with his coffee just as the Controller finished writing. He closed the file and handed it to her to return to the Value Chasers Department.
It was ongoing, he thought as he sipped his coffee. Poor people devising ways to stretch meagre resources and avoid going into debt.
Every avenue they discovered was closed as quickly as possible. How could you get people to work for low wages if they escaped from poverty?