The Coalition government today moved up a gear in its efforts to kick start the UK economy, unveiling radical plans to privatise the national currency, the British pound.
Chancellor George Osborne made the announcement this afternoon after protracted meetings with the Prime Minister and the governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King, and the measures were rushed through the House of Commons as the government frantically attempts to prevent the economy sinking into a 'double dip' recession.
Under the proposals, the ownership of the nation's currency will be transferred to a number of private companies, with MPs due to begin scrutinising the bids for each regional franchise in March.
Among the first to declare an interest in administering the currency was the Virgin Group, which has submitted a bid for the right to currency across the Midlands and south west England, where the pound would be renamed the Branson. In the North East a deal is being brokered with Newcastle Brown Ale, while Scotland and the south coast of England are expected to trade in Gaviscon pence. London mayor Boris Johnson has suggested the pound will continue to fall under the jurisdiction of the Bank of England in the capital, but ten pound and five pound notes are to be merged to create a new fifteen pound 'supernote'.
Wales is yet to receive a bid, and may be threatened with closure if no investors come forward in the next month.