Shephard rules out workfare

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MACHINATIONS and confusion over the Government's intentions about workfare, the subject of intense speculation since a recent speech by the Prime Minister, were finally resolved yesterday.

At the start of a week when unemployment is expected to creep further towards but not quite reach 3 million, Gillian Shephard, Secretary of State for Employment, ruled out early moves towards an American-style workfare scheme compelling benefit claimants to do useful work.

Announcements expected in next month's Budget include benefit rule changes to allow those without jobs to go on courses.

Shephard's plans, page 2

Unemployment slows, page 20