For the second time today the Government has suffered a further defeat, this time over a a Labour Party motion on student tuition fees.
Tuition fee increases sneaked through by the Government before the General Election
have seen the basic rate on tuition fees rise from £6,000 to £6,250 per year and the
higher rate from £9,000 to £9,250, further increasing the burden on students.
The average student now graduates from university, and starts their working life, with
average debts of £50,000 and some students from low-income families graduating with
the highest debt levels, in excess of £57,000.
Research by the IFS has shown that the average student will now graduate with £50,000
in debt. Even compared with graduates of US private for-profit universities (who
graduate with about £29,000 of debt), estimates suggest that English students fare worst
and have the highest levels of debt in Europe.
As the debate progressed it became obvious, as had occurred during the previous debate over nurses pay, that the Government would not have sufficient support, and duly capitulated yet again to mark another dark day in Theresa May’s tenure as Prime Minister.
Andrew Gwynne said:
“This must go down as one of the worst days of Theresa May’s weak and wobbly Government and shows how divided the Tories are at the moment.
“The Tories are ripping up the rules of democracy in their desperation to cling to power. They’re not taking back control, they’re trying to take it away.
“In stark contrast, a Labour government would abolish tuition fees entirely and restore maintenance grants.”