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  Screen capture from PM accused of youth betrayal over scrapping of EMA

PM accused of youth betrayal over scrapping of EMA

The latest unemployment figures have revealed that the number of young people out of work jumped by 44,000 in the final three months of 2010, to just under 2.5 million.

"He is trebling tuition fees, he is abolishing the Education Maintenance Allowance and he is abolishing the Future Jobs Fund" - Ed Miliband MP, Labour leader

These figures were raised during Prime Minister's Questions when Labour leader Ed Miliband accused David Cameron of betraying young people by scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) for young people wishing to remain in post-16 education.

Mr Miliband referred to a quote by the Prime Minister's former chief economist Jonathan Portes, who has said that it was 'wrong' to scrap the Education Maintenance Allowance and Future Jobs Fund.

Ed Miliband said David Cameron was "betraying a whole generation of young people."

He added: "He is trebling tuition fees, he is abolishing the Education Maintenance Allowance and he is abolishing the Future Jobs Fund."

Ed Miliband asked: "Why doesn't he listen to the young people and their families up and down the country and take real action to help them?"

In response to the Labour leader, Mr Cameron made reference to Labour's Flexible New Deal where 279,000 people took part, but only 3,800 secured long-term employment.

The PM said: "What we have been doing on education, on welfare, on back-to-work programmes is not good enough. All those things need to change."

The EMA closed to young people from the 1st of January 2011. Students who already get the payments will continue to receive them for the rest of this academic year, but will not receive them in the next academic year which starts in September.

Speaking about the figures, TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "Young people were hit hardest by the recession and today's figures show they are suffering in our so-called recovery too. Government action so far - trebling tuition fees, scrapping the Education Maintenance Allowance and vital job support - has only made things worse for young people."

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