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 5:10 pm on 19th January 2011.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Nadhim Zahawi Nadhim Zahawi Conservative, Stratford-on-Avon 5:10 pm, 19th January 2011

Your words of wisdom are taken on board, Madam Deputy Speaker, and I apologise to you.

If we are to have a credible debate, we must look at this issue in the round, and that means that we must look at the economic legacy we inherited from the previous Government. Our structural deficit is one of the largest in the world, and it is simply unsustainable. We are having to borrow £500 million a day. Every time we go to sleep and wake up in the morning, we rack up another £500 million. The debt interest-the money that we have to pay in interest to foreign banks and foreign countries to build their own hospitals and schools with-is £120 million a day, every single day.

I come from a rural constituency with some areas that have no post-16 provision, so I am all too aware of the additional costs that students will have to bear. Shipston high school in my constituency has lobbied me very hard on this subject, as has Martin Penny, the head of Stratford-upon-Avon college-a fantastic institution in my constituency with 5,000 students and 450 staff. I addressed the students during the week of the tuition fees debate, and after we had cut through the misinformation they understood why we were having to make these decisions.