Shoppers told to ignore "nuts" retail boycott

The government clearly wants people to save more money, but plans to stage a "retail boycott" in Sydney this year have been described as "nuts".

City of Sydney councillors have voted in favour of a Buy Nothing New Campaign, which is aimed at encouraging people not to spend any money on luxury items in October, the Australian Associated Press reports.

The authorities only want Aussies to use their debit cards to purchase food, hygiene and medical essentials, as they hope it will prevent people from getting further into arrears.

With the nation sitting on a total $36 billion credit card debt, it seems a sensible ploy on the face of it, but New South Wales premier Barry O'Farrell has labelled the initiative as "irresponsible".

"The council's anti-retail and anti-shopping approach shows it is completely out of touch with reality and the hardships small businesses face in this tough economic climate," he was quoted as saying.

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