Ed Miliband has today unveiled Labour’s fourth election pledge for young people to:
Build a country where the next generation can do better than the last: tuition fees reduced to £6000, an apprenticeship for every school leaver who gets the basic grades, and smaller class sizes for five, six and seven-year olds
The Government’s £9,000 tuition fee system is bad for graduates by loading them up with an average of £44,000 debt each.
But it is also disastrous for the public finances, adding £281bn to the national debt over the next 15 years and with £2bn being written off every year by the 2040s.
Labour’s Better Plan is built on the idea that Britain succeeds when working families succeed. That means giving young people the chance to succeed by equipping them with the skills and knowledge needed for Britain to succeed.
Our reforms of Higher Education will be introduced earlier than expected so that from September 2016, the next Labour government will have:
- Reduced the tuition fee cap from £9,000 to £6,000
- Increased student maintenance grants by £400 – benefitting half of all students
Labour’s Better Plan is built on a strong economic foundation so these changes are fully funded. They will:
- Reduce the national debt by more than £10 billion over the next parliament and £40 billion over the next 15 years.
- Ensure our universities remain world leaders with increases in the teaching grant matching pound-by-pound the reduction in fee income.
The reduction in tuition fees will cost £2.7 billion. It is fully funded by:
- reducing the tax relief for people on very high incomes paying into pension schemes so it is set at the same rate as for basic rate taxpayers.
- capping the total eligible for tax relief in a lifetime at £1m.
- limiting the annual sum eligible for tax relief at £30,000 but with greater protection for those in defined benefit schemes.
The increase in maintenance grant is fully funded by making the system of graduate repayment of loans fairer with the highest-earning paying slightly more.
Ed Miliband’s full speech is available here: click here