We currently have no plans to increase the level of the education maintenance allowance. EMA is an incentive paid direct to young people to encourage them to participate in post compulsory learning. We have no evidence to suggest the current rate of payment does not provide the required incentive. Since it was introduced participation in post-16 learning has increased each year. EMA is not designed to meet all of a young person's living costs—help with these is provided through child benefit and working tax credits, or through the benefit system provided through the Department for Work and Pensions.