Many of Britain's local councils are reporting a significant reduction in the amount of rubbish being taken to the official tips.
The government was at first delighted with the news thinking the reason was simply because the general public were behaving more responsibly during difficult times by not replacing things unnecessarily. However, on studying the data from the councils in more detail it was found there'd been no noticeable reduction in non-combustible goods arriving at the tips, only a significant reduction in things like wooden furniture.
Councils were then ordered to report back any noticeable reductions in cardboard and paper rubbish being put out by the public for the regular fortnightly collections. It was found that the cardboard and paper collections were also noticeably down compared to just a year ago.
Prime Minister David Cameron, currently on yet another of his austere holidays, this time in Cornwall, was asked whether he'd like to comment on the worrying news from our councils. He said he could only spare a few moments as he was on his way to the beach.
"I've booked a lesson for kooks. It begins in ten minutes time" he explained excitedly,"so I can only make a quick comment on this for now."
Passing his Conservative blue surfboard over for his wife Samantha to hold, the Prime Minister then went to roll up his shirt sleeves, only to realise he was wearing a short sleeved shirt. He turned the short sleeves up a couple of times anyway to reveal his manly biceps before continuing.
"It's possible that the reduction in paper rubbish being thrown away by the public is simply because manufacturers are reducing the amount of unnecessary packaging with their products. Nevertheless, I am naturally concerned that the reason for the reduction of paper and wood arriving at the council tips could indicate a far more serious problem. It is possible people are keeping hold of the wood in the mistaken belief they'll be allowed to burn it as an alternative source of heat this coming winter."
Taking a quick glance at his wristwatch to check the time the Prime Minister went on, "If these suspicions are confirmed then I make it absolutely clear here and now that as soon as I return to London I intend to see to it that a law is brought in before the clocks go forward this year making it illegal for anyone to burn anything in their fire grates this coming winter. I have already told Nick to order every council in Britain to make arrangements to have council inspectors touring their streets all through the winter months. The council inspectors will be looking up to the chimneys for any signs of smoke coming out from them. Council chimney inspectors will be authorised to issue on the spot fines of £1000 to tenants of any houses where chimney smoke is observed."
The Prime Minister was asked whether he thought it possible the high cost of gas and electric was having anything to do with people deciding not to throw away any wood and paper this year.
"Look," said Mr Cameron, "It is true that gas and electric prices have risen a little of late, but we must not use that as an excuse to start burning wood to keep us warm. It's bad for the planet, and burning wood for heat won't help Britain to significantly reduce it's greenhouse emissions. People can easily cut down on the amount of gas and electricity they use and still keep warm this winter by buying reasonably priced warm coats from charity shops, or by spending the winter with their families in just one heated room. And they should remember to use the low dull energy bulbs for lighting. I assure you Samantha and I will be doing just that at number 10 this winter. We're all in this together." The Prime Minister took another glance at his watch and explained he had to get down to the beach for his surfboarding lesson as 'a kook'.