The List

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PENNY-PINCHERS: Mr Bumble limited orphans' gruel rations in Oliver Twist; Scrooge denied Bob Cratchit an extra shovel of coal; Lord Beeching, first axeman of British Rail; John Selwyn Gummer turned down his thermostat a couple of notches; 1981 defence review advocated removing HMS Endurance from the Falklands; 300,000 householders paid fuel bills in advance, some to the end of the century, to escape VAT.

PROFLIGATES: Nature; Onan; Croesus (even his sand was gold-dust); Emperor Bokassa; Woolworth heiress Barbara Hutton ('poor little rich girl') died penniless; Imelda Marcos (all those shoes); Mrs Viv ('Spend, spend, spend') Nicholson; the Tories (with North Sea oil revenues); Jacques Attali spent much on marble but little on reconstructing Eastern Europe; Lord Bristol frittered away pounds 7m in 10 years.