Abolition of EMAs – costly and unfair
The debate on Educational Maintenance Allowances called for by the Parliamentary Labour Party seems to have focused politicians’ attention on the government’s harsh plans to get rid of EMAs. I’m particularly proud of the way unions, working with students, have led the way in campaigning against this policy and today we saw two pieces of union research that showed just how damaging this move will be. UNISON revealed that cancelling the contract with Capita to run the scheme will cost up to £40 million in penalty charges. At the same time, a poll commissioned by the University and College Union has shown that 70 per cent of students who get EMAs would drop out without this backing. The government claims to believe in social mobility, fairness and equal opportunities – all of these causes will be harmed by cancelling the EMAs.