The three blind mice made famous in the popular nursery rhyme have been stripped of their disability benefits, the Department for Work and Pensions confirmed today.
'Following a reassessment for the new Personal Independence Payments' explained Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan-Smith, 'our investigations showed that none of the three mice was in fact blind, although they were suffering from mild sight conditions. As a result they have been reassigned as fit for work and have had their benefits cancelled with immediate effect, and we might even prosecute them for benefits fraud.'
The mice have vowed the fight the decision however, arguing that it was not their intention to deceive anyone by referring to themselves as blind. 'What were we supposed to do?' asked one. 'Two short-sighted mice and one with a slight astigmatism doesn't sound too catchy does it? It was just a convenient label. And as none of us can wear glasses or contact lenses, so it's jolly hard running away from farmers' wives trying to cut off our tails.' The DWP has confirmed that their lack of tails doesn't affect ability to work either.
The three mice aren't the only inhabitants of nursery rhymes to have their benefits taken away following the switch in some parts of the country away from Disability Living Allowance. Last week Jack, who tripped whilst fetching a pail of water with his sister Jill, was told he could no longer claim on the grounds of his head injury, as he has now been deemed fit for work, and Humpty Dumpty has also been reassessed after claiming for years that claimed he couldn't be put back together again following his great fall off a wall.
Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary Liam Byrne argued that the experiences of the blind mice highlighted the flawed nature of the Government's welfare reforms. 'It's not just the disabled who are losing out either' he said. 'Yesterday I was talking to The Old Woman Who Lived in a Shoe, who has so many children she doesn't know what to do but has still had her benefits capped at £500 a week. She's now going to have to send her children to bed having only had broth for tea, not even any bread. Although to be fair, she's been doing that for a while anyway.'
The Daily Mail thought she deserved to lose all her benefits however, having recently run an expose on her revealing that all her children were to different fathers, most had ASBOs and the she spent most of her benefits on booze, fags, takeaways and wide-screen TVs.