The Department for Work and Pensions, on the verge of implementing massive budget cuts, has decided to 'wash its hands' of the decisions of who to target, preferring to 'leave it to chance'.
Minister for Welfare Reform, David Freud, is keen to get the programme of reductions underway. 'We will be calling all benefit claimants and pensioners to our offices around the country and nudging them out of various windows according to their age and general level of fitness,' he explained.
'The ground floor windows will be reserved for the exceptionally elderly or infirm, and we would anticipate needing to move up to as much as 4th or even 5th floor offices for any fit young work-shy school-leavers we find. Anyone surviving will be entitled to retain at least some of their benefits, possibly moving to disability benefit if the need arises. Those who die will have their payments stopped with immediate effect.'
The tabloid media is furious at the decision, likening it to a 'witch hunt', but Lord Freud is quick to point out the difference between his plans and the late-medieval practice.
'Witch hunts used kill off the survivors anyway,' he said, 'although now you come to mention it, that's a bloody good idea. Thinking about the size of the cuts we need, we may have to follow up the falls with the use of ducking stools or the occasional stake-burning to keep in budget. We'll let you know if we need to go that far -- I'd recommend early attendance, certainly before the start of the last financial quarter in January when we're likely to get pretty desperate to be honest.'