Council opposed to Workfare rules


SOUTH Tyneside Council has announced its formal opposition to a Government scheme which forces jobless people to work in return for benefits.

Workfare is a scheme under which Jobseeker’s Allowance claimants who haven’t found a job once they have been through a work programme go on a 26-week placement in the community for 30 hours a week.

It’s a scheme which has divided opinion, and its legality has been challenged through the courts.

Now, the borough council is formalising its opposition – and has pledged never to use workfare placements amid claims the scheme “stigmatises” benefits claimants.

A motion opposing Workfare is to go before a meeting of the borough council next week.

One of the signatories is Coun Ed Malcolm, the council’s lead member for resources and innovation.

The motion says: “This council pledges not to use any workfare placements, and will also encourage contractors not to use the schemes.”

Members of the borough council are to meet at South Shields Town Hall from 6pm on Thursday, June 26.