Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne is to warn the country not to succumb to a 'Scrooge lapse' this Christmas.
'I'm a great admirer of Ebenezer Scrooge,' said Osborne, 'and he's the perfect exemplar for a time of austerity. But he messed up.
'People this Christmas should not weaken and start buying large expensive turkeys for poor families with crippled children. We just can't afford it.'
David Cameron has backed Osborne's call.
'Don't listen to today's version of Scrooge's ghosts - Argos or Poundstretcher - and loosen your belt.
'Samantha and I will be cutting out the trimmings this year and keeping our Christmas shop down to about a £1m,' he said.