Cuttting the EMA is a cruel attack on young people working hard at their education.
Plans to cut the Education Maintainance Allowance werea announced in the comprehensive spending review. EMA are means-tested allowances of £10, £20 and £30 paid to 14-to-19 year olds who stay in education and come from families where annual household income is below £30,810. The Allowance, paid only for a high level of attendance and effort, is vital for students having to pay bus fares and buy their lunch. Cutting EMA will nly make it harder for young people to stay on in education.
• Those receiving the maximum £30 payment make up 80% of all recipients and their household income is below £20,817 per year.
• A survey carried out by the NUS in 2008 found, 65% of participants on the £30 rate stated that they could not continue to study without EMA.
• Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies shows attainment at GCSE and A-level by EMA recipients has risen by 5 to 7 percentage points since its introduction, and by even more for those living in the most deprived neighbourhoods.