Ed Miliband promises to slash tuition fees and boost maintenance grant

As anticipated, The Guardian is reporting that Ed Miliband has set out a £2.7bn plan to slash tuition fees in England from £9,000 to £6,000 a year and increase maintenance support for students by £200m…

The maintenance grant will be lifted from £3,400 to £3,800 a year for students for families who pay basic rates of income tax and will help about half of all students…

The reduction in the cap on tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000, to be introduced from September 2016, will help 1 million full-time students. The faster-than-expected pace of the changes will mean current first-year students will not pay as much in their final year.

Labour’s announcement has been condemned in advance as populist, headline-seeking and financially illiterate.

But Miliband said that unlike the Liberal Democrats, who ditched a pledge to drop fees once they joined the coalition, he would not do a U-turn. In a speech in Leeds, the opposition leader said: “What has happened over the last five years is more than just a betrayal of a promise. It is a betrayal of an entire generation: a betrayal from their first steps to the time they stride into the world of work; a betrayal from nursery to school, college to university; a betrayal of the chance of a job and the hope of a home..”

Miliband also sought to assure university vice-chancellors that the fee cut will not damage their finances. He said: “Our universities remain world leaders with increases in the teaching grant matching pound-by-pound the reduction in fee income.”

The fee reduction will be funded by reducing the tax relief for people on very high incomes paying into pension schemes so it is set at the same rate as for basic rate taxpayers, capping the total eligible for tax relief in a lifetime at £1m and limiting the annual sum eligible for tax relief at £30,000…

More at: Ed Miliband promises to slash tuition fees and boost maintenance grant

 

This is clearly going to be one of Labour’s flagship policies at the upcoming election – have they picked the right one? Please share in the comments or via Twitter…

 

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Categories: Higher Education.

Comments

  1. andylutwyche

    SchoolsImprove Although I support the lowering of fees I honestly don’t believe that this is anything beyond a hollow pre-election promise

  2. andrew_1910

    SchoolsImprove NB He’s also allocated that pension money to his Jobs Guarantee plans. Not convinced by the finances.

  3. andrew_1910

    Nor_edu SchoolsImprove theRSAorg That sounds spot on to me.I’m in a focus group on Monday about the Job Guarantee which I’ve doubts about

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