Labour's shadow occult minister, Ed Balls, has denounced the government's "betrayal" of the playthings of Satan after examination of spending plans revealed a 90% cut in funding for the thousands of unfortunates every year who fall victim to demonic possession.
"Possession by creatures from the black pit is on the increase in the UK,' a recent report revealed, 'with 40% of respondents to a recent survey saying they were "likely" or "very likely" to strap themselves to an inverted crucifix and slaughter a priest this year."
It has also been revealed that the UK is leagues behind the rest of Europe when it comes to exorcism: "most professionals are still using the bell, book and candle approach, despite the fact that modern sonic resonators, Kindle e-readers and LED torches are readily available." Damningly there are now some parts of Wales and Cornwall with no qualified NHS priests to perform exorcisms or turn the undead, although there is a small cluster ringing Michael Howard's family home near Swansea.
Over the past decade there has been a 50% increase in the number of people being admitted into A&E wards, suffering from some form of devilry or sprite infestation. Specialist doctors blame the rise on an increase in excessive toad licking and underage sects. "People from all walks of life have been coming into our hospital complaining of a range of maladies from speaking in ancient languages to cavorting with the spirits of the dead" said Doctor Gupta Mahgri at the Lister Hospital in Stevenage. "Budget cuts mean that nowadays routine trepannings are carried out with a 6mm wood drill and a course of antichristamines".
Mother of nine Mary Hubbard from Surrey spoke scathingly of the cuts. "It is a fact universally acknowledged that a women possessed by a large demon is in want of prompt access to a priest, not a six-month waiting list. I've been possessed by a devil of the sixth plane for ages now, and I've been banned from every Starbucks in the Guildford area for spewing green vomit and masturbating furiously with a crucifix. Of course, that was before I was possessed."
For those who can afford it, the private sector offers a range of convenient purifying options, including the popular "drop-in" lunchtime botox and exorcism combo. A spokesman for the Acme Drive out Satan and Wrinkles Company denied any concerns about quality, saying "We've been offering this service for months now, and it is quite clearly the perfect blend of convenience and customer choice. We've had no complaints about safety at all, and you don't have to sell your soul to afford our prices! Oh, and your daughter sucks cocks in hell - Whoops..."