The British population has been described as “lazy” and chided for “excessive lie-ins”, in a scathing attack by the Chancellor.

“The reason the economy is going so badly is that you lot are just too lazy,” Osborne said. “The Markets are not happy. They demand austerity. And that means less time to sleep in the mornings.”

George Osborne delivered his speech to announce the start of a seven-month trial period, beginning on 30 March, in which the whole population is expected to get up an hour earlier. In order to prevent any protests, even from students, the introduction of the new regime will be presented as though it were something the clocks were doing, entirely of their own accord. Osborne explained: “As a country we are progressing. We are going forward. The economy is going forward. And the clocks are going forward too. We must obey the clocks.”

If the economic crisis is still unresolved after the trial period, it is anticipated that the Chancellor will announce in October that the population is too “lazy” and needs to stay up later in the evenings.