Thursday 19 October 2017

There's excitement about the idea of Labour scrapping tuition fees, but not everyone is convinced

If confirmed, it would be a bold move for the party.

By Prudence Wade

Even though the Labour party has refused to say whether abolishing university tuition fees will be in its manifesto or not, footage has emerged of shadow chancellor John McDonnell saying the education policy “means scrapping tuition fees once and for all”.

Speaking at a rally in Mansfield in April, McDonnell said: “We believe, we’ve always believed as a movement, that education is a gift from one generation to another, it’s not a commodity to be bought and sold.”

He added: “That means ending the cuts in the schools at primary and second level, that means free childcare, it means free skills training whenever you need it throughout life.

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“And yes, it means scrapping tuition fees once and for all, so we don’t burden our kids with debt in the future.”

When asked in an interview on BBC Radio 4′s Today programme about the party’s plans for tuition fees, shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said she “didn’t want to give too much of the manifesto away”. However, she did drop some major hints by saying voters should “watch this space” regarding fees.

For many young people, the idea of not being saddled with a whole lot of debt is pretty appealing.

However, some just aren’t sure that it’s a feasible plan and more of a pipe dream (although it’s worth reiterating that the move hasn’t yet been officially confirmed by Labour).

And then there were those who got really quite sarcastic about it all.

Spare a thought for graduates and current students, whose debt will remain intact regardless of what Labour decides.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn revealed he is carrying “some stuff in my pocket” on university tuition fees but said the plans would be revealed in the party’s manifesto next week, so any confirmation of these rumours will have to wait until then.

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