Tuition fees: The Tories’ latest bid to be SEEN to do something without actually helping

Tuition fees could soon be reduced – but not by enough to make this student any less lonely (he must be rich) [Image: Getty Images].

At first sight, this means the Conservatives are running scared and Labour is dictating Parliamentary policy.

Labour won a vote in the Commons last week, for student tuition fees to be abolished, after all.

But there is a huge difference between abolition of fees and a cut of one-sixth (on the current rate of £9,000; the extra £250 was set to be imposed in the coming term, I believe).

The simple fact is that – for many young people of limited means – £7,500 a year is just as discouraging as £9,000, or £9,250. They’re still likely never to be able to pay it back.

So it’s pointless.

But the Tories can point to it and say they’re doing something – when in fact they aren’t.

The amount of revenue received as a result of levying the fees is unlikely to change hugely in any case. As most students never earn enough to pay back the £57,000 or thereabouts that they owe by the end of their college courses, the only cash generated is via interest payments, which are made at an extortionate six per cent rate.

With the level of fees still discouraging many, the number meeting those interest payments is unlikely to change greatly from the current level. It’s still a nice little earner for whoever runs the system, though!

Cuts to tuition fees that would save students at least £5,000 over a three year course are being considered by the Chancellor, it has been reported.

Philip Hammond is looking at capping annual charges at £7,500 instead of the current level of £9,250, according to The Sunday Times.

The reported move comes amid concern from Conservatives about their low support base among young people, who voted for Labour in huge numbers in the June election.

The government has come under intense pressure to ease the burden of student finances after warnings that most graduates will never clear their debts.

Read more: Tuition fees could be ‘slashed to £7,500’ a year under Government plans, report says


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4 thoughts on “Tuition fees: The Tories’ latest bid to be SEEN to do something without actually helping

  1. Rachel

    Aha! An opportunity for the gov’t to do some university bashing because they haven’t addressed the shortfall in income that universities will experience without the gov’t making up the difference.

  2. Rachel

    Worse than that, by freezing the repayment threshold they have ensured that those on the highest incomes pay off their loans faster while those on middle/ lower incomes get hit by repayments for longer and are charged more in interest.

    1. Rachel

      Sorry, to amend that further, should read ‘more of those on middle/lower incomes get hit by higher repayments for longer and are charged more interest’

  3. franceskaywriter

    Their motivation for this non-event has been made patheticallly obvious – they are only doing it to try and scrounge a few youth votes. Labour policies are made by transforming a belief in fairness and equality into pragmatic ways this can happen. Tories merely grub around for a few more votes. Don’t they realise how undignified this position is?

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