The announcement was made by the Government's Salt Cell, which is responsible for the handling of UK grit supplies as the cold snap continues, and comes in the wake of travel disruption caused after the committee forced all councils to cut their grit use by a further 50% in a vain effort to preserve supplies. However, the Government denied that there are grit supply issues, pointing to 'significant prior investment' in ensuring that grit levels were higher than ever before.
Under the emergency powers granted by the Order, all householders are required to empty their houses and cruets of domestic salt and deliver it to specially-placed bins at Council offices throughout the country. Council inspectors will be granted new powers to enter homes to search for stockpiles of salt. From 1200 today, members of the public stockpiling salt or salt derivatives including, but not limited to, garlic salt, celery salt or dishwasher salt will be liable to prosecution. The use of salt in cooking is now a criminal offence subject to punishments up to and including summary execution.
All consumer and table-grade salt will be subject to a 50% enhanced tax rate on purchase, to dissuade the public from buying stocks already in supermarkets which could be diverted to the roads. The Government has also announced legislation for a Road Salt Levy, paid as an additional 1% on National Insurance contributions.
Minister for Sodium Chloride Lord Fondlebum of Fey said, "this is a short-term measure to ensure that we can continue our eleventy-million quarters of unprecedented growth in the supply of grit to the roads. Of course, local residents may be claiming that there is travel chaos, and that roads are ungritted, but our research indicates that this is all the fault of the Tories and that actually British roads now have more grit per square metre than they did in the previous Recession under a Conservative government. We are making it a Manifesto aspiration to remove the Road Salt Levy at some point in the duration of the next three Parliaments if we can't think of a new name for it."