EMA was a weekly allowance of up to £30 for less well-off students to help cover some of their school costs and was conditional on good attendance. However the Conservative and Liberal Democrat Government scrapped EMA last year and replaced it with a much smaller bursary scheme.
Teresa has been a vocal opponent of the Government’s decision to scrap EMA and has consistently argued that local young people need more financial help to stay in school, particularly when youth unemployment is rising. She called for the reintroduction of EMA in August last year.
Ken Livingstone has said he will reintroduced EMA if elected as Mayor by bringing together existing funds in colleges, universities, and local authorities, and working with the Association of Colleges, London Higher and councils across London to deliver the funding scheme.
Welcoming the announcement, Teresa said:
“Ken Livingstone’s pledge to bring back EMA is really good news for young people in Erith and Thamesmead. Nearly every time I visit a local school or talk to a class visiting Parliament someone mentions how important EMA was to them and how they are struggling since the Government scrapped it.
“I believe EMA is crucial to keeping more young people in school so they can get qualifications and decent jobs. So I am absolutely delighted that Ken Livingstone has pledged to reintroduce EMA in London – this would make a really positive difference to the lives of young people in my constituency.”