Comment on Why EMA was Important to Children in Poverty by Ross Barrett.

This is a topic which has bugged me since I was at college a few years ago (the same year the scheme was initiated).
Like most people that choose higher education, I had every intention of studying hard and walking away with good grades. However, as my parents house was an hour round trip away, I had to own and run a car to get there and back.
Due to my step-father living in the same house as us, under the EMA criteria we – as a household – did not qualify and, as such, I had to have 3 evening jobs on top of college to afford the increasing fuel, tax and insurance costs. In the government’s eyes, my outgoings should’ve be paid for by my step-father!
This would’ve been fine had it not been for the fact my peers would brag about the booze they were going to buy with their weekly £30 benefits – a sum of money which would have gone a long way towards my fuel cost.
Subsequently, I was often too tired from working all hours to concentrate and my grades began to slip so badly it was better for me to quit college and start a low level job.

Rather than just handing out cash to anyone who puts their hand out, I’d like to see a government that properly vets candidates.