LONDON, Jan. 16 (UPI) -- Britain tipped its hat to the blues Monday, declaring it the gloomiest day of the year amidst a still-sour economy.
Call it Ebeneezer Scrooge's birthday or maybe Eeyore's. The third Monday in January is called Blue Monday, because the weather is often dismal, holiday parties are over and everyone who overspent for Christmas is feeling pinched.
Just in time for a truly miserable holiday, many in Britain are discussing the possibility that the country's economy is headed for a double-dip recession, The Sun reported Monday.
Think tank IPPR marked the occasion by issuing a report that said there were 20 applicants for each job opening in some parts of the country.
"I'm confident the British government is doing everything it can with a very difficult inheritance, facing a very difficult international situation to get Britain through this, to weather the storm," said Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne.
That said, the Institute for Economic Affairs, a conservative think tank, issued a report that said people would be better off if the government did less.
The group backed up its findings numerically. A decrease in government spending of one-third would raise happiness levels by 6 percent, the group said.
"Governments have shown how hopeless and inefficient they are at attempting to run the basics of our economy. They seem to find it nearly impossible, for example, to resist racking up colossal debts," institute Director General Mark Littlewood said.
"To trust them with something far more intimate, complicated and confusing as happiness would be inviting disaster."