EXCL WATCH John McDonnell confirms Labour government would axe tuition fees

Posted On: 
10th May 2017

Labour will promise to scrap tuition fees in their coming manifesto, John McDonnell has revealed. 

Jeremy Corbyn and John McDonnell at Labour conference
PA Images

The Shadow Chancellor pledged in a speech two weeks ago, seen by PoliticsHome, that Labour would get rid of the charges on students “once and for all” if they got into power.

Students currently pay up to £9,250 per year for their tuition at English universities.

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In a stump speech in Mansfield, Mr McDonnell said Labour would axe tuition fees altogether.

“We’ve always believed as a movement that education is a gift from one generation to another,” he said.  

“It’s not a commodity to be bought and sold. So we want to introduce – just as the Atlee government with Nye Bevan introduced the National Health Service – we want to introduce a national education service.

“Free at the point of need throughout life. And that means ending the cuts in the schools at primary and secondary level. It means free childcare. It means free school training when you need it throughout life.

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

In his 2015 leadership campaign, Jeremy Corbyn said he would get rid of tuition fees by hiking either national insurance for higher earners or corporation tax.

But the party has remained tight-lipped about whether or not that would form part of Labour’s election platform this time around, with Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner saying this morning: “Watch this space” when asked about the fees.

Mr Corbyn and Ms Rayner are laying out Labour’s £30bn plan for a National Education Service today, including cutting class sizes to below 30 for pupils in the first three years of primary school and reintroducing grants for university students. 

Watch Mr McDonnell's comments below: 



Mr McDonnell's comments were first uploaded to YouTube by user Laurence Goff.