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Education Maintenance Allowance

Part of Opposition Day — [9th allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 1:24 pm on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Andy Burnham Andy Burnham Shadow Secretary of State (Education and Election Co-ordinator) 1:24 pm, 19th January 2011

As I said, 80% of people get the £30 higher level. I also said that I am not opposed to talking to the Secretary of State about changes. However, if he is to fulfil his goal of keeping young people in education, he will have to talk about a scheme on a much bigger scale than he is proposing, and he will have to do that today.

Let me set out, first, the educational case for EMA. EMA has had a positive impact on participation in post-16 education: that is accepted by all. The Government's figures suggest that EMA makes all the difference for 78,000 young people. However, as we enter 2011, the financial outlook for many families is changing for the worse. Calculations about the affordability of staying on will have to be redone when the loss of EMA is set alongside changes to other benefits and wages. New research released yesterday by the University and College Lecturers Union suggested that seven in 10 EMA recipients will drop out of education if EMA is taken away.