Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Education Maintenance Allowance

Part of Opposition Day — [9th allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 4:05 pm on 19th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Steven Baker Steven Baker Conservative, Wycombe 4:05 pm, 19th January 2011

I begin by paying tribute to Mr Callum Morton, the president of the students union at Amersham and Wycombe college, where about a third of the students receive EMA. He has made his case with great force and maturity, and I am sure that Amersham and Wycombe students will agree that he has served them well.

I should like to address the case advanced by the Opposition. The shadow Secretary of State said that Government Members had no real idea what EMA recipients' lives are like, but how would any of us know? Members on both sides of the House may naturally radiate youthful beauty, but not too many are aged between 16 and 18. What about income? If hon. Members look at the much quoted Institute for Fiscal Studies website and enter their salary into a tool called "Where do you fit in?" they will find that they are in the top 3% of the income distribution of this country. My salary now is just my parliamentary salary, and I will take no lectures on having a silver spoon and particular privileges from those who are on the same income. How are any of us to understand, as the shadow Secretary of State asked, what it is really like to be in receipt of EMA?