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Monday, January 19, 2015

Labour struggle on tuition fees

The Times has an interesting article this morning in which they say that Ed Miliband is struggling to find a way to fund cuts in university tuition fees despite saying that the maximum would be £6,000.

They say that Labour may be forced to restrict the cut in fees to certain types of courses such as technical degrees, leaving other students to pay the current cost:

Labour reaped big rewards for attacking Nick Clegg’s decision to back Tory demands to triple fees to £9,000, meaning that the party could risk some of its support from former Lib Dem voters if it fails to deliver a cut.

Ed Miliband suggested in September 2011 that the ceiling would be reduced to £6,000 but a party source confirmed yesterday that that had not been agreed for the manifesto. Labour eventually wants a graduate tax.

Ed Balls, the shadow chancellor, is insisting that all policies are fully funded and party sources have confirmed that they are seeking funds to pay for the cut. A party spokesman said a number of options were under consideration and the plan was “speculation”.

It is not often remembered of course that although the Liberal Democrats failed to deliver on their election promise on tuition fees, Labour had been there before them. In fact Labour broke two manifesto promises on tuition fees and top-up fees when in government despite having a majority.

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