Labour force Commons vote on tuition fees rise
Labour will force a Commons vote tomorrow on the Government’s plans to raise tuition fees by £250 a year.
Under Tory plans, the fees will go up from £9,000 a year to £9.250, adding £750 of debt for students on a standard three-year course.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner has secured the vote during the time allocated as an Opposition Day debate tomorrow afternoon, HuffPost UK reports.
The move could cause problems for the Tory-DUP pact, after the Northern Ireland party opposed the original policy of raising fees to £9,000.
However, for the majority of students the rise in fees will be immaterial, as they will not get near paying off their student within 30 years, after which the debt is wiped out.
That means the rise will only affect graduates whose salaries are high enough for them to pay off everything they owe within that period.
No 10 had tried to push the rise through Parliament earlier in the year using secondary legislation but faced Labour pressure for greater parliamentary scrutiny.
The Government then avoided a Commons vote by dissolving Parliament before the debate could be held, before refusing to allow time after June’s election.
Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner said: “They won’t even trust their own MPs to back their latest hike in student fees, so they’re trying to stop us voting on it at all.
“They may be afraid of debating this issue but we aren’t, so we will now provide the time and the vote using Opposition time.
“This latest tuition fee rise could cost students up to a thousand pounds more over a university course, yet they are refusing to keep their promise to graduates that the repayment level would go up with inflation.
“Every MP who votes against us on Wednesday will have to answer to the people they represent if they back ever high student fees and ever worsening terms for graduates.
“In stark contrast, a Labour government would abolish tuition fees entirely and restore maintenance grants.”