Prime Minister Gordon Brown is to hold back the next Budget until April, as he ponders the next steps for a Britain driving deeper into Recession.
In a speech to the Foreign Press Association, Mr Brown claimed that we were not in Recession but simply feeling 'the difficult birth-pangs of a new global order'. To uncontrolled laughter from the audience, Brown also claimed again that British debt was low, and we were well-placed to handle the economic downturn.
Treasury officials denied the delay to the Budget - normally announced in March - was because the Government were running around like headless chickens and bereft of ideas, instead explaining that the Prime Minister and Chancellor were developing 'radical' new solutions to bring Britain out of Recession more quickly.
A source close to the Prime Minister said, "Gordon's got loads of ideas. He'll be ensuring that all Government offices use both sides of scrap paper, for example, which will save 170 million in stationery costs. Also, we will legislate that all public-sector lunches must be bought at Tesco, generating a further £25 million in 'Computers for Schools' vouchers and fully £1 billion in Clubcard Points".
He added, "the best idea so far is to get all Government Departments to check down the backs of sofas and chairs for spare change. Gordon has estimated that we could raise £1.4 billion as a result".
Peter Mandelson refused to comment, but Lords Truscott, Taylor, Moonie and Snape all offered to comment for £5 grand apiece.