With forecasters already predicting snow in October, and promising a long bone chilling winter, Britain's poor are being urged to burn books in order to stay warm this winter.
The Departmment Of Fuel Bills expressed concerns that with the spiraling costs of imported energy, coupled with probable default on fuel bill payments by hard up families, such a scenario could have a catastrophic double dip whammy effect on the economic recovery, causing the national debt to creep in the wrong direction on a graph on some computer screen in Whitehall again.
The DOFB has suggested that poorer Brits heat their homes with burning books, as there appears to be a plentiful supply of old books in charity and overstock shops, and at jumble sales and flea markets.
"It's simple," said DOFB spokesman, Charles Chan. "Instead of turning the central heating up, poor families should snap up used books, set them alight, and heat their homes that way. It's self sufficiency on a sensible scale, and it helps out immensely with the national debt."
Not everybody agrees with the advice though. TV property basher and part time cockney geezer, Tommy Walsh, advised:
"This might not be such a good idea. Most new builds don't have fireplaces or chimney stacks, so the smoke has nowhere to go. I can see thousands of people dying of smoke inhalation. There's also the issue of flooring. Lighting a big fire in your living room won't do carpets, hardwood or laminate floors a lot of good. Of course, you can alleviate that to some extent by building a brick shield between the fire and the floor. But then you'll probably sustain fire damage to the ceiling, and you're still left with the problem of the smoke. All in all, I don't think it's such a great idea."
The DOFB dismissed Walsh's concerns, as "nonsense," adding that the loss of a few thousand poor people would help the economic recovery in the long run, by reducing the Welfare burden on the taxpayer. They recommended bulkier tomes, by authors such as Stephen King, Wilbur Smith, Jeffrey Archer and Dennis Wheatley as they burn longer and offer the best value for money.
Local man, Martin Shuttlecock told reporters:
"There's no way I'm burning my copy of 'The Dorking Review' just to keep warm. It took me years of blood sweat and tears to finally get published, and now they want me to burn the book to keep warm? Bastards. They can fuck right off."
More as we get it.