New rules introduced by the Department for Work and Pensions mean that anyone entering a Job Centre will now have to do so under a hail of bullets.
‘Genuine jobseekers have absolutely nothing to worry about,’ said Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith, ‘the snipers are just there to keep people on their toes.’
Mr Duncan Smith explained that the gunmen were part of a scheme to help ‘incentivise’ the unemployed back into work. ‘Research clearly shows that navigating your way through a salvo of gunfire acts as a great motivator,’ he said, ‘to paraphrase Dr Johnson, the prospect of being shot in the morning focuses the mind wonderfully.’
Early trials of the scheme have proved highly effective with a significant drop-off among so-called NEETS (Not in Education, Employment or Training) and a corresponding rise in NOBBNICs (Not On Benefits But Now In Casualty).
‘This scheme deliberately targets the unemployed,’ complained one man as he lay bleeding on the floor, ‘and it is especially galling since a lot of these sniper positions are being given away to Eastern European immigrants.’
People claiming Incapacity Benefit can also expect to be hit with the introduction of door-to-door snipers. ‘We simply pop round and fire off a few shots just to see if they are faking,’ said a DWP gunman, ‘admittedly a few of the innocent will get caught in the crossfire but you would be surprised at just how many of them start running. Then we know they're guilty and we can shoot them in good faith.’
The sniper scheme is just one of many ‘radical’ new measures being introduced by the Pensions Secretary.
Other plans include a ‘secret trapdoor’ positioned under the feet of anyone attempting to sign-on; promising drug addicts that if they end their claim they could get a free bag of heroin; and, most controversially, the use of IEDs or Improvised Employment Devices – high powered explosives that, if stepped upon, propel the unemployed into a job that that they didn’t really want.
‘This should not be seen as a war on benefit claimants,’ insisted Mr Duncan Smith, ‘but if everything goes according to plan, I promise it will all be over by Christmas.’