Festive debt

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If you are still at a loss as to what to buy friends and family for Christmas, and you have more money than sense, help is at hand courtesy of the Good Gifts catalogue.

One "wonderful present for children and grandchildren" won't just make the family happy - the festive cheer will be felt as far away as Her Majesty's Treasury. Yes, now you too can own your own slice of our national debt.

"Why lumber your descendants with a staggering debt burden?" asks the blurb, "Now is the time to start reducing the national debt in their names (and their interest)."

It's a bargain at just £20 per gift. Just think, Britain could be debt-free by New Year - if they sell 50 billion, that is.