Education Maintenance Allowance

Part of Opposition Day — [9th allotted day] – in the House of Commons at 6:01 pm on 19th January 2011.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Labour, Sheffield Central 6:01 pm, 19th January 2011

It is unfortunate that so many Government Members have tried to deflect the debate and create a smokescreen of talk about Labour overspending. I do not recall the Conservative party or the Liberal Democrats opposing the money that we spent on building new hospitals and new schools and on investing in our universities and our police service as we set about repairing the broken Britain that we inherited in 1997. If our spending was profligate, and if Conservative and Liberal Democrat Members thought that at the time, why did the then shadow Chancellor commit himself to matching our spending plans until the banking crisis hit internationally?

Gavin Barwell has just challenged us to come up with alternatives. Here is one alternative: if the Government abandon their plans to halve the tax on bankers' bonuses, they could spend the money on EMAs three times over.