21 October 2009

JSA, not EMA

I recently heard through a local college that EMA (Education Maintenance Allowance) may be scrapped because the administrative costs are too high. It seems to me that the best way forward would be to roll those on EMA on to the Job Seekers Allowance system. JSA is unlikely to be scrapped (unless it's replaced with something equivalent) and with the existing scale and infrastructure the additional administrative costs should be minimal.

I have therefore started a petition to the prime minister to scrap EMA and allow those who are/would be entitled to claim JSA. I am aware, from people I know who are JSA claimants that the job centres already let people 'sign on' over the web or to simply come to the job centre and swiping a card. Either this could be carried over to the pseudo-EMA claimants or perhaps the colleges could be required to 'sign on' their students to maintain the requirement of attendance to get paid (though if it's a case of we'll pay someone to sit around and do nothing why should we stop paying someone just cos they miss a couple of days of a course?)


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