Welsh MP urges Westminster to reinstate Educational Maintenance Allowance in England
Beth Winter MP has called for the reinstatement of the Educational Maintenance Allowance (EMA) to learners in further education in England.
The payment was launched by the UK Labour Government in 2004 in an attempt to encourage more 16-19 year olds to stay in education, but was scrapped at UK level by the Conservative and Lib Dem coalition Government in 2010.
It was retained in Wales however, and this week Wales became the first nation in the UK to increase the EMA, when it increased it from £30 a week to £40 a week. Cynon Valley MP Beth Winter has called on UK Government to follow Wales’ lead and put money directly in the pockets of young people.
In an Early Day Motion, Winter congratulated the Senedd, National Education Union and National Union of Students and called on the UK Government to re-introduce the EMA payment for learners in England at the earliest opportunity.
The motion has since been supported by several high profile MPs including Jeremy Corbyn, John McDonnell and Apsana Begum.
The Cynon Valley Labour MP said: “Student poverty has reached crisis levels, with many of those at college or sixth form unable to afford even the basics.”
“Young people in further education are hugely vulnerable to exploitation in the workplace due to a lower minimum wage and a lack of statutory rights.”
“The Welsh government has acted to alleviate this hardship by using its powers to increase the Education Maintenance Allowance from £30 to £40.”
“The UK Government must follow suit. A failure to do so would be a betrayal of vulnerable and hard pressed young people in further education.”
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