Labour to bring back educational maintenance grants for poorest students


Labour will bring back maintenance grants for the poorest university students by increasing corporation tax, the shadow education secretary, Angela Rayner has pledged.

Labour will also reverse the decision to replace means-tested grants for university students with loans, announced by George Osborne in his final budget earlier this year.

It would reinstate the Education Maintenance Allowance, a means-tested cash payment, for 16- and 17-year-olds from poorer families who want to remain in education.

Research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies thinktank suggested the EMA, which was worth £30 a week, helped to boost participation among teenagers.

But it was abolished by the Coalition Government in England in 2011 as part of their austerity measures.

Labour voted against the plans at the time.

Angela Rayner said the twin announcements on maintenance grants and loans “show that while the Tories continue to burden our young people with debt, the Labour party is committed to investing in our young people.

"It is only by investing in education that we can ensure that all of our young people, whatever their background, are able to succeed in whatever they aspire to”.

“When we can help improve the education of over a million young people with a small increase in corporation tax, it is an investment we would be foolish not to make.”

Labour said the policy would be paid for through a 1.5 percentage point increase in corporation tax.

It would use half of the money raised, about £1.5bn, to cover the increased costs of student support.

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