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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

The hon. Gentleman is having it both ways. He started by saying that he regrets the removal of EMA, before going on to make his attack. I will make two points to him. First, he said that EMA was essentially unaffordable. Why then does the Institute for Fiscal Studies say that the costs of EMA are "completely offset" by the wider benefits that it brings? He might want to reflect on that point.

Secondly, why did the Prime Minister and the Secretary of State promise young people that they would keep EMA? More than that, why did the Minister of State, Department for Education, Mr Gibb, stand at the Dispatch Box after the general election and say that EMA would be retained? Why did they do that if it is now such a bad idea? Will he answer that?