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    (Original post by samw)
    i agree that the number of children per household should be considered but i disagree wid a lot of people whoz parents earn over 30k as that income is enought to fund their childrens education and whether their parents give it to them is not the governments fault.
    I think that people are saying that because of the people who get EMA when they don't need it - kind of "They're getting an extra £30 for doing nothing and not even needing it, why don't I?!" And that makes sense - it does seem to me that really quite a lot of people are getting it who don't need it and if they get free money, it's pretty natural to want some yourself! If just the people who needed it received it and spent it well, I think there would be a lot less of a problem - after all, you don't see people complaining that these OAPs they know are spending their Winter Fuel Allowance on cars/houses/[insert OAP-desirable but non-fuel-related item here], and just because they themselves are two years under the age limit doesn't mean they shouldn't get given money to just spend on stuff! OK, bad and unrealistic example, but you know what I mean - no abuse, no complaint.

    I think EMA needs a bit of a revamp, to be honest.

    1. Income should be judged on an income-per-child basis. I think disposable income would be harder and fiddlier to measure, but if you took the income and divided it by the number of children I think that would be just about good enough for most people.

    2. Most of it should be switched to vouchers - stationery vouchers (I think WH Smith's do educational only vouchers, so possibly something like that but eligible in more stores), travel vouchers, school meal vouchers etc. That's what most of EMA is meant to spent on, really.

    3. Schools should have some of the money for funds as well - this would cover uniform bursaries if needed (though a lot of 6th forms are non-uniform these days from what I know), costs for people's lodgings if they've been chucked out of home and subsidise trips and maybe even music lessons as needed.

    4. The actual money you can get should go way down. The vouchers and funds would cover most things, but a little money might be a safeguard. I might say £5 a week - enough to be used well if needed, but not enough that it will be a huge problem. While I can see that it might be a problem for people taking out-of-school music lessons and evening classes on EMA (both valid monetary uses, methinks, as they're educational even though they're not strictly school-relating), I can't really think of a better solution. EMA isn't meant to pay your house bills, to my mind - if you're having to use it that way then I think the housing benefits need to change rather than the EMA.

    5. I might also say the threshold for EMA should be lowered. My family is not far above it, but I do feel that we can afford my schooling and trips etc without making many sacrifices (even in a moderately expensive area) and I know the average wage is far less with people managing reasonably well on that. I suppose it is very different if you live in full-on central London on that wage, but I do feel that most people over £30k and maybe even less (I think the upper limit for EMA is £37,425?) must be able to manage reasonably.

    goody2shoes88, I'm a fellow musician (what do you play, BTW?) and am not so sure myself about the necessity of the socialising thing. I can see that being in the pub after a concert could yield a useful contact or two, but surely any money other than your travel to and from the concert (presuming you're a performer and would have made that anyway) is not so necessary? It's probably easy for me to say as a a teetotaller, but being in the pub doesn't usually cost - and it doesn't mean you have to drink (which I assume is where the money goes). Sorry, that probably came over as a bit preachy or accusing, in which case I apologise - I think the other ways you spend your EMA are fine and it's good that there are people who spend it legitimately!

    In my case, I find I have quite a lot of useful contacts through doing musical events (many of which are free) and being involved in a youth music organisation - I've been acquainted with multiple people in the local music service, an employee at a French Horn shop (who got me a discount), two West End trumpeters, the 4th Horn of a BBC orchestra, a couple of BBC Talent people (I got a bursary from Fame Academy so I'm considering trying to get a favour for work experience), an international soloist, and I have my plate full being called in even on an unpaid level to fill in French Horn spaces in a few youth orchestras. I'd kill for your junior department contacts, though - must be massively useful!
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    I find EMA discusting. I'm going to be getting £10 off them but I know somebody who is getting the full £30. The reason they are getting the full £30 because their parents are on benefits and benefits are none taxable so they get away with it, even though in a year their parents get more in benefits than my parents do working. His parents haven't even got anything wrong with them, they're fleecing the govement by getting the benefits even when there is nothing wrong. Both of his parents stopped working in their early 20's. So you're trying to tell me that their son is going to work after he's finished college? I don't think so, he's never been around people that work so he's not going to. So do you really think EMA works?
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    Is EMA fair?
    Nope. Fair enough, there are actual students that rely on their EMA money to be able to pay bus fares and buy books etc...but the vast majority of students in my year that got EMA just spent their money of ****/pub/clothes/bandits.

    There was a guy in my tutor that lived in one the well off villages around my school, lived in a gorgeous big house with his own brand new Golf on his birthday and got everything he could ever want, included a holiday for him and his mates to his parents hoilday home in some nice hot country. However, as his parents owned their own company and we're both self employed, it was impossible for them to prove their income? resulting in this lad recieving £30 EMA as well as £100 bonuses and the end of term and exam time.

    Whilst sat in the pub on the last day of school having a goodbye celebration with my friends two of the lads in my year we're compulsively slotting £1 into a bandit behind me, for what seemed like about 25minutes. When i turned around and said "Ross, how on earth can you afford to keep playing on that thing all night" his reply was "EMA" :rolleyes:

    I understand that people on EMA do sometimes have part time jobs aswell in order to earn that little extra pocket money. However, me and my 3 closest friends had to work up to 16hours a week part time during our A-levels in order to provide us with money for field trips/nights out/driving lessons/petrol etc...and then when it came to exam time we're being constantly harassed by our teachers to quit our jobs in order to spend time on our revision however it is not possible as the money we earn we need, had EMA been available to us (trust me, we we're alot worse off than people that we're actually recieveing it) we would have ben able to quit our jobs and concentrate on studies.

    This is nothing against the people who recieve EMA, it's just the government need to come up with a better way of selecting who is actually eligible and who simply cannot prove they're not
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    It really isn't fair, in my school the majority of people who don't work hard, always get in trouble and generally waste other peoples time are rewarded with £30 pw + £100 bonuses whereas others who work hard aren't. Hardly an incentive for the exempt people is it?
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    EMAs not fair no ...get over it

    (i dont get it btw)
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    I'm unsure really, I don't get EMA but most people think that the annual income wages is too low really so its not fair for most people if they just own over, most people think the annual income should be brought up, so its fair for more people.
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    Its really unfair -two of my friends I will use as examples:

    Ine gets 30£ a week, because his mum and his dad have split, and his mum works part time since some inheritance or something paid off the mortgage. The other get 10£ a week, both her parents are part time, but her dad sued someone for 350k about 5 years ago, so she doesn't exactly need it!

    To be honest, living in Hertfordshire, 75% of the people attending my sixth form are fairly well off, and don't require it even if they do fit thge criteria.
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    Its unfair, people can get £30 on EMA + a part time job + a paper round. People on EMA will usually be claiming benefits so save money there. Students also get christmas bonuses which can be over £100. My parents own well over the £30k something boundary but its not like i get £30 pocket money a week, i dont see why they should get so much.People say they need it for school items but really, stationary we buy like once a month at the most, not every week. The money isnt even spent on school dinners as they get that for free also. I know there may be some families that arent well of as me and may need the money alot but i'm sure for every family like that, theres 10 where they can dodge the system or spend the money on luxury and dont contribute it to their education.

    If our generation knows that our children will get most things for free and we can get grants no wonder lots of people drop out and dont care about working hard. why work hard when i can get the money off tax payers.

    EMA seriously screws over the lower/middle-middle class which really annoys me
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    I get the full £30 a week and Im the only person out of my friends that gets any, it is because my parents are divorced! I have to admit I don't spend that much on stuff for school, I do buy clothes for school though cause we have to have formal clothes so I spend a lot on clothes...(probably more than I need admittedly!)
    It also goes towards my skating as coaching gets expensive and my mother probably wouldn't be able to afford it all!
    I can see why people find it unfair but a lot of my friends parents have proper careers...teachers, doctors... and when they all live in large houses and get money to go out when they want, so I call it compensation for living in a small house!
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    if ur parents earn well over 30k thn u shud be happy wid wat u go as u mus hav a better quality of life compared to someone well off. infact. jus get over it!

    and hw will all da people that get EMA get free school meals when there parents are earning?

    yes, thts rite. EMA is compensation for the low income in ur house.
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    (Original post by samw)
    if ur parents earn well over 30k thn u shud be happy wid wat u go as u mus hav a better quality of life compared to someone well off. infact. jus get over it!

    and hw will all da people that get EMA get free school meals when there parents are earning?

    yes, thts rite. EMA is compensation for the low income in ur house.
    No,what we're saying is that most people earn over £30,000 more (most of this population) than people who do not, thats how its unfair,just think if theresa large family in a house earning over the income just think of money budgets and everything.
    Just because most people earn over does not mean "a better quality of life".
    Oh and in future speak properly.
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    (Original post by worldwide)
    It's nothing to do with being able to afford the bus fare or a pencil case.
    I'm saving up my EMA for uni, so if I go to a london uni, I can afford the escalating rent prices for accomodation. I don't see my parents helping me out with my finances then, and I don't want to be in more debt later!

    I agree that the system needs to be refined, but simply fingerpointing and saying "you should have a better standard of living just because your parents earn over 30K" is a bit general. Other things need to be taken into account.
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    (Original post by *dicie*)
    I'm saving up my EMA for uni, so if I go to a london uni, I can afford the escalating rent prices for accomodation. I don't see my parents helping me out with my finances then, and I don't want to be in more debt later!
    I'm saving mine up for uni and/or driving lessons too, the school provides with nearly everything we need and spending it all on going out seems a bit of a waste, but i'm always one to look to the near future =]
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    (Original post by GarethBrown)
    The other get 10£ a week, both her parents are part time, but her dad sued someone for 350k about 5 years ago, so she doesn't exactly need it!
    TBH you could win the lottery and still get EMA, it's the amount your parents make, not how much they already have!
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    The limit is waaay too low, my dad earns £10k over the limit anyway, but I think they would include my stepmum's in it too, so that would be like double the limit .

    Just because they earn it, doesn't mean they give me £30 a week!
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    (Original post by RJ89)
    Just because they earn it, doesn't mean they give me £30 a week!
    This is one of the most common arguments against EMA by people who don't get it, but it's completely beside the point. EMA is not about giving people £30 a week (or £20 or £10- remember, not everyone gets the full amount). It's about making sure people whose parents don't earn much have the money to afford things they need for school, such as transport, food, books and stationery. I agree it should be provided by means of vouchers instead of cash because that would stop people wasting it on alcohol, clothes or whatever, but the point is, if your parents earn around £60k a year, they could afford to buy you anything you needed. This isn't always the case for those from lower income households.
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    £30 a week buys a lot of Jack though!
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    I hate EMA, mainly because i dont get it, my families just over. I hate how i work my arse off all weekend [8hours] to get £35 when some people do nothing and get £30. Its unfair as i have hardly any time to study. Aswell as buy textbooks with this money
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    Also we are all working our butts off at Further education to hopefully earn over £30k a year. Doesnt make sense.
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    (Original post by kellywood_5)
    This is one of the most common arguments against EMA by people who don't get it, but it's completely beside the point. EMA is not about giving people £30 a week (or £20 or £10- remember, not everyone gets the full amount). It's about making sure people whose parents don't earn much have the money to afford things they need for school, such as transport, food, books and stationery. I agree it should be provided by means of vouchers instead of cash because that would stop people wasting it on alcohol, clothes or whatever, but the point is, if your parents earn around £60k a year, they could afford to buy you anything you needed. This isn't always the case for those from lower income households.
    So because a few people really need it, loads of people that dont need it get it. They have way more moeny then me simply because the government gives them it. What expenses are there anyway? so give them free school meals and a free buss pass.

    Here is why it is defintly unfair. Imagine two families, one is a mother and only child, the other is 2 working parents and their 4 children. Imagine the single mother earns just under £20,000 a year and the other family have an income of £35,000.

    The first child and her mother infact have no money problems since there are only 2 of them, yet the child will get EMA. The other family are quite poor since the money per person is £6000 instead of the £10,000 it is for the family of 2 and yet none of the 4 childrne will ever get EMA.

    Can you see how household income is such a bad indicator.
 
 
 

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