Thursday, 9 December 2010

'MPs have voted against the national interest on tuition fees'

MPs in Parliament have voted in favour of the largest average student tuition fees in the world(1). Steve Dawe comments:

“MPs have voted in favour of creating the largest average tuition fees of any country in the world. This will, without doubt, reduce the number of our young people going into Higher Education. Some, perhaps all, of our Higher Education institutions in Kent may suffer reductions in students. Many of our young people considering University now face potential debts in excess of £35,000. Combined with the 79% in funding University teaching, and a deliberate policy of denying entry to many students who wish to come to the UK from outside the European Union, the Coalition Government has made an unprecedented attack upon the future improvement of the skills base of this country.

“Where student numbers do decline in parts of Kent, the local economy will suffer as retailers and landlords lose income.

The Government has persuaded MPs to support its policy, but has clearly lost the argument amongst young people. Other options, including a fairer taxation system to help fund Higher Education, were not considered.

The Government may imagine it has won the battle. But the massive increase in Tuition fees is rather like the Poll Tax: something you can get through Parliament, but a policy which will be resisted until it is abolished. The Green Party believes the future of this country depends upon improving education, including improving access by getting rid of tuition fees altogether.”

Ends c 250 words

FURTHER INFORMATION: Steve Dawe on 07747 036192 or 01732 355185. Contact address as above. Published by H. Dawe and promoted for Kent Green Party, both at 27, Audley Avenue, Tonbridge, Kent TN9 1XF.

1. By 323 votes to 302, a Government majority of only 21 despite the Government’s current majority in Parliament of 84. The Liberal Democrats were deeply divided: 28 for, 21 against and 8 who did not vote. Two votes were taken: on a maximum fee of £9000 per year and a minimum fee of £6000, excluding those from the poorest households who are to be made exempt. Both votes were numerically the same.

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