With a surprise item at the end of the budget, Chancellor George Osborne has announced a plan to revitalise the Royal Mail based on the hideously unpopular Cypriot savings-grab.
As MPs in Cyprus rejected the levy on domestic savings accounts, the Chancellor revealed that every person over 18 in the UK would need to hand over a stamp to their postman next Monday morning.
An official at the Communication Workers Union has expressed doubts over whether postal workers will be able to implement this measure fully next Monday. Concerns are said to surround the speed at which they are expected to complete their round, the proportion of housewives likely to answer the door in revealing nightwear, and how they'll still manage to write out all those 'Sorry you were out' cards related to parcels that they aren't carrying and shove them through the letterboxes of people who are clearly at home.
Plans outlined at budget time are notoriously difficult to cost and analyse properly, with government and opposition frequently accusing each other of using misleading numbers. National newspaper journalists then confuse matters further by attempting to explain 'what the budget means for you'.
Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls insinuated in the House of Commons that not only were the numbers not to be trusted, but that the whole concept was flawed since no-one who 'borrows a stamp' has ever returned said stamp. Ever. In the history of the world.
The Chancellor has claimed however, that this plan is beautifully simple and that the numbers are clear for all to see.
"A first class stamp costs 60p. Working on a UK adult population of 51 million, this means a yield for the Royal Mail of £30.6 million. Which is conveniently, the same as their pension liabilities for next year".
"Stamps are legal tender, right?"