YOUNG people with time on their hands can become domestic pets under a government pilot scheme.
The scheme, which is the brainchild of Tory backbench MP Denys Finch Hatton, sees unemployed youth and recent school leavers living with host families as ‘dog substitutes’.
Each participant gets a free basket to sleep in, in exchange for which they are expected to guard the home, make appealing facial expressions and run around in circles with their tongue out when their owner returns from work.
Finch Hatton said: “Labrador pups are nearly a grand these days, yet we have all these teenagers sitting around on benefits, many of whom are quite strokable.
“They also have shaggy hair, boundless energy and a love of colourful things, all excellent dog qualities.
“As dogs they learn the merits of automatic obedience and uncritical faith in their masters, qualities which, sadly, nowadays, are somewhat in decline.”
“And they learn how to bark. So many young people tend to mumble.”
Finch Hatton also believes that living on dog food improves the diet of many inner city youngsters, weaning them from chicken nuggets onto meaty jelly-coated chunks.
17-year-old human pet Julian Cook said: “It was a terrible, demeaning experience. In retrospect I’d have made a better cat.
“Sleep 14 hours a day, do nothing useful, treat the people who feed me with utter contempt, be on YouTube a lot, sleep some more.”
The Liberal Democrats said they were all for the idea but said their principal concern was that the issuing of dog-style licences to young people might raise a civil liberties issue.