There are currently 1,768 young people receiving EMA in the City of Westminster.
The government has announced that the £560 million scheme, which currently benefits 24 per cent of 16-19 year olds in the City of Westminster will be scrapped at the end of this academic year. EMA will be replaced with a £180 million ‘discretionary fund’ which will leave the poorest students almost £400 a year worse off according to the Institute of Fiscal Studies. Local Assembly member Murad says the huge cut will leave many young people in the City of Westminster unable to afford to remain in education.
The Mayor said this week it is, "vitally important that we keep young people in school". But local Assembly member Murad Qureshi said his intervention was "too little, too late".
Murad said: "EMA is a vital lifeline for many students in the City of Westminster, – students who couldn’t otherwise afford to stay on in education. And while the rest of us have been trying to get the government to stick to what they promised before the election and keep EMA, the Mayor waits until the decision has been made before uttering a word on the subject.
"I fear this is too little, too late and another bit of opportunism from him. He’s got to put his money where his mouth is if he is as concerned about the impact of this £300 million cut as he now claims."
Boris Johnson said on the BBC’s Question Time last week (Thursday 31 March 2011), "I want to have another look at this. I’m grateful for what Michael Gove did. There needed to be an evolution of the policy and I have to tell you I don’t think we’ve seen the end of the story"
Murad Qureshi is a Londonwide Assembly member and a former councillor in the City of Westminster.
Murad’s recent blog on this:
Find out more about the campaign to save EMA here http://saveema.co.uk/about
The government launched a 6 week public consultation last week via: http://www.education.gov.uk/consultations/index.cfm?action=consultationDetails&consultationId=1754&external=no&menu=1
It runs until the 20th of May.