David Cameron has said forcing children to work before receiving a visit from Santa will help to mark an end to Britain’s “something-for-nothing culture”.
And in a speech at the Conservative party conference in Manchester, the Work and Pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith said some children from poorer families would have to spend 35 hours a week looking for work in order to qualify for presents.
Infants under the age of 5 will be put on pilot schemes if they are deemed to need extra help to find jobs or are suspected of working in the black economy if they want to receive a present from Santa.
The Prime Minister said he hoped the initiative would be expanded to make sure children realised nothing in life is for free unless you happen to be rich, a failed banking executive or an MP.
The UKIP leader Nigel Farage welcomed the government proposals, but said the plans did not go far enough and accused Santa of being Karl Marx in disguise:
Santa Claus is a big bearded German guy who likes red. And going around giving free presents to everyone willy-nilly is clearly Marxist. So UKIP says Stop Santa Now!
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