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Students protest again in Yorkshire


6:35am 11th January 2011

‘Save EMA’ protest in Leeds as part of national day of action.

Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) is the grant paid to poorer students to help them attend college. As part of the Comprehensive Spending Review the Con-Dem government have scrapped it. On Tuesday 11th January, EMA will be debated in Parliament. The Labour Party had pushed for a vote on whether to reinstate EMA, but this is not going to happen.

School, college, and university students in Leeds will be assembling at Parkinson Steps (Leeds University) at 4:30pm to march down for a rally outside Leeds City Labour Council. Local councils administer EMA, and we demand they continue to pay it, even if it is cut by central government, to make the Con-Dem coalition’s policy unworkable.

Amy Beswick, a Year 12 student at Lawnswood School, said:

“It’s not fair thatits not fair that  young people should take the burden of the cuts when they didn’t cause the financial crisis, and didn't vote this government in. The cost to the government of EMA is relatively small, but really benefits lots of ordinary people. Lots of young people wouldn't be able to go into further education without the support of EMA, and that’s a really big shame and a waste of talent. Typically, it’s the richer kids that go into further education whereas it should be open for everyone. EMA is a way of making Further Education more accessible to people from a poorer background.”its not fair that young people should take the burden of the cuts when they didnt cause the financial crisis, and didn't vote this government in, and that the cost to the government of ema is relatively small, but really benefits lots of ordianary people"

 Ian Pattison, Press Officer for Leeds University Against Cuts, said:

“The scrapping of EMA is the most brutal and cruel Con-Dem cut of all. Along with crippling tuition fee rises and draconian education cuts, it is an attempt by the Coalition to deny young people a decent future. But these are part of a sustained series of attacks to make students, pensioners, workers, and youth pay for the bosses’ economic crisis.”

Leeds University Against Cuts (LUAC) was formed October 2009 in response to the announcement by Leeds University of compulsory redundancies as part of a £35million cuts package. LUAC mobilised students in support of staff who were balloting for strike and organised several demonstrations against cuts on campus. Last year LUAC activists played a key role in the occupation of Leeds University, and the protests that have taken place throughout Leeds. 

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