Ken Livingstone says he would introduce a new support allowance of up to £30 per week for London’s university and college students if elected in May.
The allowance would replace the Educational Maintenance Allowance which was withdrawn in England by the coalition government as part of its austerity measures.
Labour claim the scheme could be funded by pooling existing funding currently held by colleges, universities, and local authorities.
Speaking on Thursday Mr Livingstone said: ““Applying the principles of fairness that led to our fares cut plan, I want to help young Londoners with their education by easing the squeeze the Tory-led government has imposed on them, and which the Tory Mayor has totally ignored.”
Commenting on Livingstone’s proposals, Green Party Mayoral candidate Jenny Jones said: “Our forthcoming manifesto reaffirms our party’s opposition to tuition fees and cuts to EMA and university grants. I have also pledged to create at least 150,000 high-quality apprenticeships aimed at young people under 25 if elected Mayor.
“Restoring the EMA sounds like a good plan, if the money really can be found. Just like Ken, I have no problem borrowing other people’s ideas when they’re good ones.”
Liberal Democrat candidate Brian Paddick said: “Ken Livingstone’s proposal speaks of getting London councils to help fund it, but how many have agreed to do this?
“And what happens to people in boroughs which won’t help in funding it?
“The Coalition government have ensured that support is given to students most in need and they will continue to receive support, so these plans are unnecessary.”