With the first payments on the government's Universal Credit system expected to reach earth from Alpha Centauri sometime during the year 167014 AD, the Department of Work and Pensions has admitted that welfare claimants may experience delays in receiving their benefits.
A spokesperson for the department said:
“Despite some early teething problems, outsourcing the Universal Credit scheme to a race of salivating, tentacled monsters, who inhabit the Alpha Centauri star system, continues to represent good value for the hard-working British taxpayer and Gary Barlow.”
“We advise anyone who experiences benefit delays that food banks, payday loan companies and pub fruit machines can all help to bridge the gap between payments. We strongly recommended all those who are affected to treat the experience of not being able to pay for food or rent as an exercise in self-improvement that will help you to win the job of your dreams.”
A senior manager for the DWP was quick to highlight the “across the board” praise the decision to outsource Universal Credit off-world had received from jobseekers:
“We have been inundated with thank you cards from the unemployed, all expressing their heartfelt gratitude to us for handing their future over to a race of warmongering, intergalactic bastards, whose language contains no word for 'compassion,' but 23 words that describe the way in which a skull crumples under blunt force trauma.”
Critics of the government's increased reliance on bloodthirsty alien civilisations to run elements of the UK's welfare program have cited conflicts of interest. A spokesperson for the Citizens Advice Bureau said:
“The boldly-stated intention of the Alpha Centaurians has always been to enfeeble the human race, prior to establishing a military outpost on Mars and launching a planet-wide invasion of Earth. Clearly giving them the power to withhold or delay unemployment benefits plays into their long-term strategy for our solar system.”
These fears appeared to be confirmed yesterday in a statement issued by Alpha Centauri High Command from their embassy in London, Islington:
“Our inevitable conquest of the planet you call Earth will result in the slavery and genocide of your puny species on an unprecedented scale. However we would like to assure UK jobseekers that our thrice-daily regime of rigorous anal probing and back-breaking labour will be significantly less intrusive, humiliating and degrading than their current cycle of visits to the Job Centre, fitness for work interviews, workfare placements, and mandatory zero-hour contacts.”
Response to the news from the unemployed has been mixed, with one claimant observing that Universal Credit has the same initials as Ulcerative Colitis, and pondering which might end up being the bigger pain in the arse.
Another jobseeker who was asked whether a delay in welfare payments might lead him to solicit help from a food bank, said: “It probably won't affect me. I've just been mandated to attend an A4e course called 'Blue Sky Drinking.' Apparently they are going to teach me how to use the power of positive thought to absorb all the nutrients I need from the air.”