The British public is largely split over the Government’s plans to abolish the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA), with slightly more people disagreeing with the plans than agreeing, but no majority view on either side.
- 46% thought that the EMA should be kept in place
- Compared to a substantial 41% who wanted EMA written off by the Government
- It seems that support is largely party political, as 60% of Conservative supporters agree with the decision to remove the weekly allowance
- While just 19% of Labour supporters took a similarly positive attitude about the abolition
The Education Maintenance Allowance, or EMA, is paid to 16-19 year olds from low-income families who decide to stay in full-time education, and depending on circumstances, can be as much as £30 per week. The Government currently plans to wipe out the allowance, which is currently paid to 45% of all 16-18 year olds, from September so that it can focus more specific efforts on helping the poorest students.
And while Ralph Hartley from think-tank Policy Exchange claimed, ‘As many as nine in 10 students who were in receipt of the Education Maintenance Allowance said they would have stayed on in education anyway’, Newcastle students have recently protested against the cutting of the EMA, with some saying that it is the only way that they can afford to stay in further education.