Cross-party support for EMA uplift

Image by vgnk from Pixabay
NewsFebruary 8th, 2023

The Bevan Foundation’s call for EMA to be increased has won cross-party support in the Senedd.

Education Maintenance Allowance provides vital financial help to low-income 16- to 18-year-olds who stay on in school or further education.  In 2018, the Bevan Foundation identified that EMA rates were too low and called for an increase.  In 2021, we called for EMA to be restored to its historic value, and to be rebranded as a Learning Allowance. 

We are delighted that our policy proposals have been supported across the Senedd in debates on the 2023/24 Welsh Government budget. 

  • The Senedd Finance Committee recommended that the Welsh Government ‘reviews the eligibility threshold of Education Maintenance Allowance; and considers increasing the value of Education Maintenance Allowance’.
  • The Children and Young People’s Committee recommended that the Welsh Government commissions an independent review of EMA including its value and the eligibility thresholds, and that it publishes its analysis of the additional costs of an uplift. 
  • The Economy, Trade and Rural Affairs Committee similarly called for the Welsh Government to explain its incentives for young people to remain in education, employment or training. 

The Bevan Foundation has recognised that restoring the value of EMA to its historical value is probably unaffordable with current budget pressures. We are now urging the Minister to do the right thing by uplifiting EMA by at least the rate of inflation – 10.1% – and by committing to an annual uplift in future.




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