Heidi Alexander (Lewisham East, Labour)
I would like to return to the education maintenance allowance. In March, the Prime Minister came to Lewisham college and spoke to students about his plans. He said:
“We’ll keep it. We’ve taken a look at it. We think it’s a good idea.”
Will he explain to me and the 1,150 students at the college who are currently receiving EMA why his Government are scrapping it?
David Cameron (Prime Minister; Witney, Conservative)
Because we face the biggest budget deficit of any country in the developed world. That, frankly, is the prism through which such decisions must be seen. In politics there is a choice: either confront the problems in front of you and deal with them-that is what this Government are doing-or run away from them, like the Labour party. We are putting in place something that will be more targeted and more effective, but we must deal with the mess that we were left.