There was some bad news for the Government in the Commons today, when Employment Secretary Albert Dole announced that 5000 Santa Claus jobs had "gone to the wall" since Christmas Day.
The Santas, working from Grottos all around the country, had been spreading Festive Cheer and goodwill to all men, and handing out tacky gifts to children in a number of High Street department store chains, but many had signed back on the unemployment register by yesterday.
Statistics show that the number of Santas needed in the run-up to Christmas has been steadily falling over the last three years, with parents choosing to move from traditional 'real presents' to the much-preferred 'Cash', but seasonal workers, as they are often known, maintain that they still have an important role to fill.
One, Nicholas Saint, 39, of Birmingham, said:
"It's scandalous! No notice, no holiday pay, no redundancy pay. This happens every year. It's shameful! Ho! Ho! Ho!"
Another, Somalian-born refugee Ray N'Dear from Lewisham, told The Spoof:
"Widout Santa, Christmas is jast an outdated pagan festival marking de birth of a Jew baby 1000s of miles away, 1000s of years ago. It bad, man. Ho! Ho! Ho!"