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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Don't Reduce Tuition Fees : ABOLISH THEM

                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Ed Miliband's announcement that a Labour Government would reduce student tuition fees from £9000 per term to £6000 per term is a step in the right direction but is not good enough. It is a classic Labour compromise designed to try and persuade student voters not to vote Green and it won't work.  Natalie Bennett is the only party leader currently talking sense on this issue. The Labour compromise has been roundly condemned by all the usual suspects and vested interests that Ed Miliband is too frightened to fully stand up to. However the bottom line is that the existing fee system is unfair; it punishes the younger generation while leaving the older generations, who enjoyed free higher education, better off financially than the youth of today will be. Higher Education should be free, not made into a commodity to be purchased. Raising fees to £9000 per term was always and purely a cynical political move. It was about imposing a stealth tax on the young because the coalition parties saw believe that the 18-24 age group are less likely to vote than the older generations and that they will only realise the financial implications of debt repayments further down the line. 
Universities should be funded through general taxation, through income tax or a specific graduate tax on all of us who benefited from higher education, regardless of age. The fee system discriminates against young people. Today there have been many university spokespeople railing against Ed Miliband and Labour. Well they should be made to rail even more, rail till the cows come home. They should be thoroughly ashamed of how the universities are using students as cash cows to fund unnecessary refurbishments, huge salary increases and commercial activities. Universities should be independent, state funded centres of learning not commercial business with compromised curricula which play down and cut arts subjects.
It is a bit rich of Labour to want to reduce fees now when they introduced the principle of fees in the first place, shortly after the 1997 election. By doing so they set a precedent and made it easier for the Tories and Lib Dems to increase them later.

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