Chancellor issues Easter credit warning
Chancellor issues Easter credit warning
By our man in the Mall - Lester Haines

UK Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, has issued a stern warning to the country's debt-ridden families that overspending this Easter may leave them with more than chocolate egg on their faces

Already reeling from a massive hike in Council Tax, whopping increases in the cost of fags and booze, and the government's proposed new Sex Tax, millions of Britons face the prospect of a ruinous Bank Holiday weekend because they simply don’t have enough available credit to fund the traditional knees-up.

"People are financially stretched to breaking point at this time of year," explained Barclay Merchant, a fat geezer in an Armani suit who took time off from sticking smart chips onto a stack of credit cards to talk to Utterpants. "The knock-on effects of the Christmas spending spree, St Valentine's Day, St Patrick's Day and Mother's Day mean that plastic has taken a right bashing and there is nothing left in the kitty to fund the orgy of Easter spending."

Tradition dictates that Easter is a time of rejoicing and giving. While children are normally content with a small token gift — an X-box, Nike Trainers or a DVD player — many wives will not settle for anything less than a Cartier watch or a waterproof, deluxe multi-function Swiss Sex 'Wonder Wabbit.'

An expert in the etiquette of giving told us: "It is accepted that any significant date must be celebrated according to the accepted custom: by the exchange of worthless gifts and the purchase of horrendously expensive consumer goods. A husband who simply presents his wife with a red rose on Easter Friday, for example, or lavishes his children with nothing more than a chocolate bunny, is flying in the face of thousands of years of tradition. Furthermore, he faces ridicule and social exclusion for his inability to properly provide for his family."

With Easter now upon us, the UK's major banks have some solid advice for those who simply cannot meet the financial demands heaped upon them: "The average family owes around £55,000 on credit cards," said a spokesperson for a consortium of High Street lenders. "That's absolutely nothing compared to their mortgage, so we suggest that applying for two or three extra cards will see them nicely through Easter and may even leave a bit of cash over for St. Sappho of Lesbos Day on 29th April."

When we expressed surprise at the concept of St Sappho's Day, the banks' emissary looked shocked: "Where have you been? St Saph's — as it's widely known in the retail trade — was resurrected to plug the consumer gap between Easter and May Day. You have bought the wife the St Saph's Day chocolates, flowers and lingerie, haven't you? And don't forget the kids — they'll be expecting a new bike each."

We later spoke to the Bank of England, voicing our concerns that excessive borrowing would lead to fiscal disaster for many. Their leading analyst, sitting at the wheel of her BMW M5 — a Valentine's Day present from her twenty-two-year-old lover — allayed our fears: "Interest rates are at an all-time low, so it's an ideal time to borrow as much dosh as you can lay your hands on. Obviously, you don't want to try and borrow when the interest rates rise. That would be financial suicide, so better spend while the going's good."

We declined her kind offer of a 29% APR, £5,000 limit platinum store card. "So," she chortled, hitching up her black Armani micro-skirt, to expose a sheer silk thong, "you're pretty confident you'll have enough to see you through the Martyrdom of St.Hypatia on 28th June? These feminist festivals don't come cheap, you know."

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More of Lester Haines' grungebreaking journalism can be found here

© 2004. Original story by kind courtesy of The Rockall Times.
Story and images revised 2006. © utterpants.co.uk /250305 / 130406

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