it means you had a silver spoon at birth!!! LOL!!! (joke - in acse you were wondering)
EMA does have good and bad points. For example I know someone whose parents fork out thousands a year for her to go to boarding school but she still gets EMA because they're retired (bad point). But then again, I know someone who has saved their EMA so that she can buy a car which she will need to commute to university everyday because her parents can't afford for her to live in and she wouldn't be going otherwise (good point).
Rich kids (well, I say rich, people who don't get EMA, which I am one of) moan that it's not fair, but generally (and this is a big generally, it's not true in 100% of cases) if your parents are the kind of people who have the knowledge and skills to have a job with that kind of salary, then the chances are that they will, mostly subconsciously, pass these quialities on to you, enabling you to also get an at leat average paid job. If you don't learn good work ethics from your parents, where's the other big outlet for this? School. If people from poorer families have an incentive to stay on at school, the idea is that they will learn these skills that other people have been brought up to have, and so will be better workers, meaning the tax payer does not have to fork to give them unemployment benefits.
Of course, there are lots of flaws in this idea. For example, there are plenty of people on this website who get EMA, but I am sure that they are naturally hard workers and wouldn't require an incentive to stay on at college, but their family's personal circumstances have meant that they are eligible for EMA. It is probably also not a great idea to automatically assume that if young people spend an extra two years at school, they will magically become these hard working, conscientious people who will bring lots to the economy, because quite honestly, by the time you get to sixteen, if you haven't had work ethics instilled in you already, you probably won't learn them.
I apologise if I have offended anyone in this post, it was not my intention. It is purely my views on EMA.
The only problem I have with EMA is that over half of the people who came back to school after GCSEs only did so that they could claim EMA whilst not doing any work and being able to mess around in the common room all day. They only take 2 AS levels and most didn't even get 5 A - C's at GCSE.
EDIT: ( ^ I forgot to mention, I am only talking about my own school in the above post )
if your that bothered about a maximum of 30quid a week...get a part time job...i gt ema..n i still got myself a job..tisnt exactly hard......