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From The Socialist newspaper, 9 September 2010

Con-Dems threaten EMA

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is a weekly wage that students in further education get. It is designed to help pay for things such as bus fares, course materials and other necessities for studying. For many, this makes the difference between being able to attend education and not.

Ryan Preston, North-West Leeds Socialist Party

EMA pays between 10 and 30 a week and the amount that you are granted is dependent upon your household income. At present you can receive 30 a week for an income of up to 20,817, 20 for up to 25,521 and 10 for up to 30,810. Any student who comes from a household where the income is over this amount is not eligible for EMA.

This is a very flawed way to determine who should be granted extra support as it doesn't take into account any other expenditure that parents may have such as other children or mortgages.

Furthermore, the means testing system makes a lot of paperwork and red tape for students, parents and schools and colleges.

Although EMA makes a huge difference to a lot of students, it can often not be enough, with many college students also working in part-time jobs.

For some students it is the only source of income that they have and 30 a week doesn't stretch far. For example, a day bus ticket can cost up to 4 so students can be left with hardly anything after just paying to get to college!

If the cuts to EMA are carried out it will have a massive effect on the number of students who can attend. For example, when the EMA was slashed by a huge 20% in Scotland, NUS Scotland estimates that over 8,000 students had to drop their studies due to financial difficulties.

The government has already attacked EMA by scrapping the two 'bonuses' of 100 each student used to get at the end of the first and third term.

They are also considering lowering the weekly amount paid per person so that many students will receive 10 less than they currently do.

Instead of cutting EMA, the government should be providing all students with a grant big enough to cover their full living costs.

Every young person has the right to attend post-16 education and we must campaign in every college and sixth form across the country to make sure this is defended.

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In The Socialist 9 September 2010:

We can stop the Con-Dem cuts

Health workers' victory

National Shop Stewards Network lobby of the TUC


Socialist Students

We won't be a lost generation!

No to slave labour apprenticeships!


Socialist Party news and analysis

Tony Blair - a journey to Thatcherism

Blair admits he was wrong...

Academies will lead to a two-tier education system

Jobs and services are facing axe in Cornwall


Socialist Party youth and students

Far right not welcome in Brighton

Con-Dems threaten EMA


Socialist Party workplace news

Solid strike on London Underground

London bus workers fight cuts

London: Unite members to strike against NHS privatisation

Corus Redcar - the real story

New Royal Mail boss sharpens her axe


Socialist Party NHS campaign

Fighting for the health service

The callous cutting of NHS Direct


Socialism 2010

Against cuts? Come to Socialism 2010


International socialist news and analysis

Russia: Motorway construction through Khimkinsky forest halted

Global food crisis reveals failure of capitalism


Socialist Party feature

No to Trident nuclear weapons


Socialist Party review

Zola's Germinal: still relevant today


 

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