There were scenes of upset, outrage and even violence today in response to the 2½% rise in the VAT rate announced by the Chancellor in his budget.
While the Society for the Deaf thought the budget was something that eats bird seed and lives in a cage, the National Union of Shoplifters was said to be even more fuming than a BP oil disaster.
A spokesperson for the Union, speaking through a public address system borrowed from DJs 'R' Us (without, of course, their knowledge)said that the increase in VAT next year will put a terrible strain on their members.
He said that from January, his shoplifting members will have to steal upwards of 5% more goods from shops to keep up with the VAT increase and inflation. He added that if the VAT rise forces shops out of business, it could have a catastrophic effect on his members' livlihoodies.