Costcutting making it 'difficult to uphold quality and frequency of punishments'
Satan has today issued a warning that austerity measures will compromise both quality and severity of punishments in hell. The number of full-time employed demons tormenting sinners has been cut by 50% and the thermostat was turned down from 'burning' to 'a bit too hot' to save on energy costs. The Prince of Darkness announced 'Hell is no longer the top venue for eternal damnation designed to really frighten the shit out of the faithful. Instead it now resembles a slightly clammy council run gym, where JLS blares out of the sound system and instructors are doing everything they can to help you put your back out. If you are unlucky you might also pick up a bit of athlete's foot.'
Satan added, 'I have worked hard to make hell as unpleasant as possible for millennia, but it seems priorities have changed. I was not invited to the recent economic forum in Davos, and Rupert Murdoch is no longer returning my calls. The Almighty himself has outsourced aspects of eternal torment to politicians and financiers who have devised mundane, but admittedly cheaper strategies to make life a misery for everyone, everywhere, immediately.'
A government spokesperson said 'It is true, the coalition did get an outsourced contract to make 'hell on earth' more manageable. We really are in this together, sinners and saints alike, so committed inmates of hell will just have to accept that their punishment has been downgraded. We cannot afford to employ thousands of demons poking sinners by hand with sharp sticks and volunteers have just been too compassionate. New style punishments will instead consist of watching TOWIE and Susan Boyle's X-Factor audition on a loop while being listlessly poked by a G4S employee, if he can be bothered to turn up, that is.'
The Almighty was not available for comment but issued the following statement:
As part of reducing the universal deficit I have started to merge hell and earth, so get used to it!