Yet another Labour whinger going on about EMA. I will say it again, how do they think poor people managed to go to college before 2004? How do they account for the fact that social mobility and educational disadvantage have got worse over the past thirty years? Do you really think that everyone on EMA would drop out of college if they didn't get it? If you accept, as I think all the statistics (not the dodgy NUS ones) show, that many pupils who currently get EMA would stay on without it, then you have to acknowledge that much of that money is being wasted. It would be far less wasteful to establish a pot of money that could go towards helping genuine hardship cases who genuinely benefit from college. If this form of mass subsidy is such an important priority for so many in the Labour party, can any of them tell us what they would cut?
One final point - Robertson quotes a comment from the Save EMA website that really touched him:
Cassie Campbell - “I need EMA my mum is on benefits and I am a full-time student at college without EMA I can’t go to college I will have to drop out and I don’t want to do that”
Call me a callous bastard but should someone who doesn't understand how to write a proper sentence be going to college?