Clarke welcomes decision on future of Education Maintenance Allowance

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Thursday, February 14th, 2013
Alliance Party South Down spokesperson Councillor Patrick Clarke has welcomed the announcement on the future of the Education Maintenance Allowance. The new system will have a single band of £30 for weekly payments and a £200 bonus. This will be payable to children from households with incomes of £20,500 or less with one dependent child, or £22,500 where there are two or more dependent children. There will be now an annual bonus of £200 payable in two parts based on education performance. Speaking to Newry Times, Councillor Patrick Clarke said, “I welcome the agreement that the Minister for Employment and Learning has reached with the Executive on the retention of EMA and ensuring its economic sustainability. “This is a better deal for students than any other region in the UK and another example of devolution working for the people of Northern Ireland. I am well aware of the real difference that EMA makes to ensuring equal opportunity for all our young people to achieve their educational potential. He added, “That said, it was important to ensure that scarce public resources are targeted at those who need it most. This new system reflects the responses to the consultation, showing that the Minister has listened to stakeholders and ensured that EMA will be more efficient.”
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