Pensions Minister Steve Webb has proposed that all of the UK’s OAPs should be given a stark reality check in terms of life expectancy. Mr Webb’s understandable concern is that the elderly are unaware of their own mortality and that previous attempts to pursue them with dark storm clouds, circling vultures and ‘a dyspeptic hobgoblin carrying an oversized hourglass’ did not have ‘the desired impact’.
Initially there will be a leaflet campaign depicting images of ‘memento mori’, ‘broken mirrors’ and stills from the ‘Final Destination’ movie franchise. This will be supplemented with a visit by a blind pirate bearing the black-spot, quickly followed by the erection of a glowing white tunnel outside their front door. If the pensioner has still not ‘got the hint’, they will be given a face-to-face consultation with a wailing banshee.
Traditional methods of calculating life expectancy, such as cutting a pensioner in half ‘to count their rings’, are now seen as unreliable. Recent figures from the Office for National Statistics predict an aging population, along with an increase in the ‘unfettered whiff’ of stale urine. Mr Webb would like to avoid the retired frittering away their dwindling savings on the illusion of youth; such as Lamborghinis, Just-for-Men and a life-time subscription to the National Geographic Magazine.
The Government hopes the symbolic foreshadowing of a withering vine, a bloody moon and the smell of sulphur will save on future administration costs. A spokesman said: ‘Above all, we want this to be non-alarmist. Sensitive to the individual. With that in mind, pensioners will soon be visited by a hooded seven foot high skeleton armed with a scythe.