Recent newspaper reports that, with advances in medical science, the UK’s average life expectancy could reach 120 years, have reportedly caused alarm at the Department of Work and Pensions (DWP). “The Secretary of State, Iain Duncan Smith, is obviously very concerned at this possibility,” a source at the DWP told The Sleaze. “After all, it is one thing if the right sort of people – those with independent means of supporting themselves – start living to these ages, but what if the wrong sort start regularly living past a hundred? You know – poor people. Imagine what it would cost us in pensions alone!” Indeed, the government has already been forced to push the pension age back from sixty five due to increased longevity and there are fears that within a decade people could find themselves unable to claim their pensions until they they are over ninety. Even worse than the prospect of having to pay pensions for an extended period is the idea that people would be able to claim welfare benefits for extended periods. “Just think about it,” the DWP source claimed. “You could have indolent poor people leaving school at sixteen, then claim benefits until they retire at ninety! Then they’d start claiming that state pension they’ve never paid in for – they could be on handouts for the better part of a hundred years! I’m telling you, when this was pointed out to Iain Duncan Smith he visibly paled! He was so horrified he had to sit down, before vowing that drastic action had to be taken against these hypothetical centenarian benefits scoungers!”

Experts have poured scorn on the DWP’s alleged concerns about increased longevity and its pension plans. “Just because people might live to a hundred and twenty doesn’t mean that everyone will – it’s not an option you can tick,” snorted top Gerontologist Professor Alistair Loopley of the East Acton Institute of Electrical Installations when The Sleaze spoke to him about the DWP claims. “Besides, just because life expectancy is increased, it doesn’t follow that the ageing process will be slowed or stopped. People would be just as decrepit at eighty or ninety as they are now – they’ll just have to endure it for longer! Raising the pension age is nonsensical as most people still won’t be physically able to work past the age of seventy! As usual, the government is just seizing on some piece of sensationalist reporting of pseudo science to justify spending cuts.” Loopley isn’t alone in his scepticism over the DWP’s fears about increased longevity for the working classes. “The idea that poorer people are just waiting to claim benefits rather than work is not only offensive, but completely unfounded,” commented Fred Nocker, senior lecturer in sociology at Bracknell Polytechnic, when contacted by The Sleaze. “This is clearly just another attempt by the coalition government to smear the poor so as to ‘prove’ that not only are they not deserving of welfare benefits, but that they aren’t deserving of extra years on their lives, either.”

Nevertheless, the DWP source remains adamant that increased life expectancy amongst the ‘lower orders’ presents a grave long-term threat to the economy. “It’s all very well these so-called experts saying that increased longevity won’t be accompanied by a slower ageing process, but only last week the Daily Excess – one of this country’s most respected factual publications – ran a story about scientists in the former Soviet Union working on a pill derived from monkey glands which will slow down the ageing process,” they told us. “Whilst we might hope that such an elixir of youth would be sufficiently expensive so as to restrict access only to the upper echelons of society, who would use their extended lifespans responsibly, the reality is that within a couple of years the pills will undoubtedly be being mass produced in garage-based labs all over the world and sold for next to nothing on the black market!” Under such circumstances, the source claimed, reduced ageing and increased longevity would undoubtedly fall into the ‘wrong hands’.

Foremost amongst those ‘wrong hands’, as far as the DWP is concerned, are single mothers. “We all know that they only keep having kids so that they can claim benefits and ‘free’ council flats, don’t we?” the source claimed. “Well, if they had increased longevity and the ageing process was slowed down, imagine how many more children they could have? They could produce so many in a 120 year lifespan that they’d have to be provided with mansions rather than flats to accommodate them all. We’ll probably end up with loony leftie councils evicting the likes of Griff Rhys Jones from their mansions to house seventy year old single mothers with twenty kids there instead!” Perhaps even worse than single mothers is the prospect of illegal immigrants and foreign benefits tourists being able to claim benefits for decades. “That’s really our worst nightmare – idle foreigners capable of claiming British taxpayers’ money for a century at a time,” the clearly horrified DWP source told The Sleaze. “Can you imagine it? Illegal immigrants would be claiming asylum and spinning out their appeals against deportation so as to be able to spend decades living at British taxpayers’ expense in luxurious asylum centres! It’s an outrage! Or it will be, when it happens.”

Consequently, the source has claimed, the DWP has begun to institute measures to try and ensure that the poor don’t enjoy increased longevity. “Why else do you think we’ve introduced Job Centre regimes which increase the amount of harassment suffered by claimants? Stress is known to reduce life expectancy, that’s why!” they told us. “It’s the same with the increased use of benefits sanctions for trivial infringements – those affected will have less money for food and malnutrition is another major contribution to reduced life expectancy. It’s also why we keep telling the seriously all and disabled that they are fit for work and forcing them into unsuitable jobs – with any luck it’ll finish the bastards off!” The source has no time for critics of his department’s approach. “Look, it’s quite obvious that certain sections of the populace really aren’t deserving of such a gift,” the source opined. “I mean, what are these poorly educated, unambitious lower class people going to do with their extra years? Enjoy the arts? Expand their minds? Of course not – they’ll just fritter them away in a haze of drugs, alcohol and tobacco!”