Tuition fees. It may be a topic close to your heart as you stare at the thermostat, tempted to turn it on but weary of the heating bill. Maybe you’ll just get a jumper instead. Would a cut in tuition fees make a difference to you right now? A £3000 cut in tuition fees may
Would a cut in tuition fees make a difference to you right now? A £3000 cut in tuition fees may help students in the future with ‘less to pay back’, but it doesn’t help the struggle to pay rising rent or food.
What is the best way to deal with tuition fees?
Read on to see each party’s tuition fee policy, taken from their manifesto and other relevant sources.
It is hard to find anything exclusively on tuition fees from the Conservatives. They appear to wish to change other aspects of the education system. A Guardian report suggested the Tory silence on tuition fees means they are neither signalling a reduction of fees, nor are they ruling out another raise of fees.
Labour have been rather vocal on their wish to cut tuition fees by £3000, believing the £9000 current fee system to be flawed. They state three quarters of UK grads won’t be able to pay back the amount in full. Instead, the cost of the loans have to be paid off ‘by the taxpayer’ as the government is forced to pay written off debts. All students from the UK would have £9000 less to pay back.
They hope to raise grants by up to £400. The grant increase will be funded by a 3-4% interest rate increase for graduates that earn the most money (over £41,000). Sorry to any flowering Mark Zuckerberg’s out there.
Labour stress that Freshers would benefit from reduced debt in their third year. Those attending university in 2016: you could see the cap from the start of your first year if Labour wins the election.
They plan to give universities the same amount of around £2.7 billion.
Labour propose to fund the tuition drop by restricting ‘Pension Tax Relief’ by £2.9 billion for ‘those on the highest incomes’. According to Labour’s manifesto, people earning over £150,000 receive tax relief on pension contributions at a rate of 45%.
£2.9 billion of Pensions Tax Relief will be restricted from those on the highest incomes.
Read more on the restriction of the Pension Tax Relief here: http://www.labour.org.uk/blog/entry/labours-plan-to-cut-tuition-fees-five-things-you-need-to-know
The LibDems include a piece on their website apologising for their infamous failure to deliver on their tuition fee promise. They have added a handy tickbox with a happy ‘the current loan system is actually great’ feel to it.
They describe our present system as a 30 year graduate tax, and add important information that is often forgotten when discussing student debt: UK students will pay 9% of their income if they are earning over £21,000, to pay back their debt. If the graduate’s income falls below £21,000, their debt will be wiped.
The LibDems also ensured our present day maintenance grants, for students with parents earning less than £42,000. They also brought in fee waivers and extra bursaries.
Maybe the Lib-Dems need to add another tick box of reality. ‘Those who do not meet bursary and grant requirements now have two 0-hour contract jobs and rely on parental handouts to meet rent and buy food’.
Yes. Seems apt.
To read more: http://www.libdems.org.uk/get_the_facts_student_finance
The Greens wish to ‘scrap tuition fees and restore maintenance grants’. Instead of giving out a loan they will give students enough to live from in the form of a grant, to cover ‘basic living costs’ and books. Students wouldn’t have to pay tuition fees either. (Did someone whisper ‘student utopia’?)
A free education may seem farfetched in light of students’ current predicament. The Greens plan to fund maintenance grants via the money saved from their radical welfare reform to create a Citizen’s Income. The scheme will streamline welfare by creating a universal payment for every citizen, replacing tax-free allowances and nearly all social security benefits. For more information visit:
UKIP wish to remove tuition fees for students taking degrees in science, medicine, engineering, technology and maths. The removal will be subject to academic performance, and on the condition they don’t run away from the UK in the next five years with their skills.
Farage may want to reconsider his other policies to prevent a mass student urge to leave the UK immediately upon graduation.
UKIP also want to scrap the ‘the target of 50% of school leavers going to university’. This could have a knock on effect on tuition fees.
Visit UKIP’s manifesto for more: http://www.ukip.org/policies_for_people