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Education Maintenance Allowances

Volume 124: debated on Friday 18 December 1987

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland what figures are available to indicate the numbers in receipt of education maintenance allowances in each education and library board area in each year since 1980.

198019811982198319841985198611987
Belfast167235271244221229230200
North-Eastern248360397432491206218209
Southern6939201,002924717482389370
South-Eastern208247291238190155140130
Western8871,0241,0831,036750630568580
1 Estimated.

To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland (1) what information is available to indicate the value of education maintenance allowances in each year since 1980;(2) what information is available to indicate the assessment thresholds for education maintenance allowance in each year since 1980;(3) what figures are available to indicate the real value of education maintenance allowance in each year since 1980 as a percentage of its value in

(a) 1980, (b) 1983 and (c) 1987;

(4) if he will make a statement on Her Majesty's Government's policy in relation to education maintenance allowance.

The maximum payable by way of educational maintenance was £510 per annum in 1980, increasing to £570 in 1981 and to £595 in 1982.In 1983 the maximum level was changed to £494 in recognition of the fact that supplementary benefit payments were automatically reduced by a sum equal to the amount by which educational maintenance exceeded that figure. The maximum level remains at £494.The assessment threshold for education maintenance was £3,470 in 1980, rising to £3,970 in 1981 to £4,325 in 1982 and to £4,645 in 1983 at which level it remains.The following are the comparative values of the years since 1980, expressed in percentage terms, with a value of 100 given to 1980, 1983 and 1987 respectively:

198019831987
Per cent.Per cent.Per cent.
1980100103103
198194115116
198290121121
198370100100
19846796100
19856492100
19866086100
19875884100
The future of the scheme in Northern Ireland is under review and I will make a statement when this has been completed.