Student protestors were today joined by workers and parents to protest against the scrapping of EMA, which pays up to £30 to students from families with low incomes who continue into Further Education. A report from the IFS found that EMA pays for itself and increases education participation and improves outcomes.
The protestors began at Waterstones, and decided to occupy RBS which announced £7Bn of bonuses earlier this week, to highlight the inequities of the cuts – which are hitting working class families hardest, whilst leaving the wealthiest untouched (remember that the Times rich list 2010 showed that the richest 1000 individuals in the UK increased their wealth by 30% between 2009 and 2010 – some £80Bn).
It has been reported that Parliament will vote on EMA on the 19th January now. We hope that they will vote to keep EMA, and would encourage everyone to write to their MP, using http://www.writetothem.com, to express your support for a benefit that directly allows working class people to continue in education, and improve their skills and qualifications.
We will let you know of anything further protests or actions that are planned in Birmingham, so you can join the students on the streets to fight this cut.