‘We have discovered a single man claiming housing benefit for a property that appears to have an infinite number of spare rooms,’ said Benefits Officer Kimberley Smalls. ‘He is therefore liable for the most severe under-occupancy penalty.’
The decision means the Doctor faces significant cuts to his housing benefit and he may be forced to leave the TARDIS and move to a one-bedroom flat in Neasden.
The spot check by housing benefit officers found that the Doctor has far more ‘spare rooms’ in his 1960s police box than was previously thought. These include a sick bay, an observatory, a library, a secondary control room, several squash courts, an ancillary power station, a swimming pool and an attic.
‘This is quite simply a question of fairness,’ said government minister Esther McVey. ‘It is totally unacceptable for a single man such as the Doctor to be living in a property with so many spare rooms – a property that could be used by a much larger family.’
The Time Lord, who has been living in the Type 40 Mark 1 TARDIS for over 900 years, is appealing the decision on the grounds that his ‘spare rooms’ only exist in extra dimensions of space and time that are not covered by the Welfare Act. However, legal experts say his chances of success are about as likely as a Cyberman winning The Voice by singing I Will Always Love You.
Housing benefit officers are also looking into allegations that the Doctor failed to declare periods of time when he was co-habiting with an assistant. ‘He has a statutory duty to inform us of any changes to his circumstances,’ said Ms Smalls who is also investigating claims of identity fraud. ‘Our records indicate the Doctor may have changed identities on at least twelve different occasions. He claims that he remains the same person; we shall see what the courts have to say about that.’
If his appeal is rejected the Doctor may be evicted from the TARDIS as early as next month, which could seriously interfere with his work saving the planet from alien invasion. ‘I had previously thought the Daleks were the most hate-fuelled creatures in the universe, unable to feel pity, remorse or compassion,’ said the Doctor, ‘but even they wouldn’t do this to me.’
A massive rise in unemployed Daleks is causing major problems at jobcentres up and down the country, swamping offices and threatening to exterminate staff who fail to find them a job.
The problem has been caused after thousands of Daleks were laid off by the BBC, their traditional employer, who have decided to ‘give them a rest’.
‘We don’t want to end up on the scrap heap,’ said Dalek Caan, ‘although as scrap we probably do have considerable value.’
‘It’s an absolute nightmare,’ complained one employment adviser. ‘They wheel around the centre, crashing through walls as they go, and then they insist on applying for jobs that they cannot possibly do. One of them wanted to be a home carer and another tried for a job in a kindergarten. To be honest, the Daleks are not very strong on people skills, but you try telling them that.’
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith insisted the government was doing everything it could to get the Daleks back to work. ‘The great thing about these guys is that they really want to find jobs,’ he said, ‘ok, so they might be threatening to annihilate the entire human race if they don’t find a job, but at least that shows some initiative.’
Meanwhile, former Employment Secretary Lord Tebbit gave unemployed Daleks some advice: ‘My father was a Dalek in the 1930s,’ he said. ‘He didn’t riot. He got on his castors and looked for work.’
However, local jobseekers are less than impressed with the Dalek invasion. ‘They come over here from the planet Skaro, claiming our benefits and taking our jobs,’ grumbled one man, ‘and I bet they go straight to the top of the council house waiting list. They should go back to where they came from.’
Jobcentre staff say that they are working hard to find work for the Daleks. ‘Some of them have already found jobs as plumbers,’ said employment advisor Mrs Maureen Grebe, ‘apparently they have these built-in sink plungers that are absolutely ideal. A few of the older ones also have an egg whisk facility so we got them jobs in catering.’
‘Of course the main problem is that the Daleks have had every emotion removed except that of pure hatred,’ explained Mr Duncan Smith, ‘but thankfully there are still plenty of vacancies out there for traffic wardens.’