Labour leader hopeful, Jeremy Corbyn, has said he will abolish all tuition fees and reinstate student maintenance grants if he is chosen to take the helm for the party.
The politician, 66, who has enjoyed a surge in support as a shock poll put him in the lead for the party’s leadership, set out a £10bn plan which he said could be funded in one of two ways for 2020.
His first recommendation was to use the money from income tax receipts to reduce student debt – by scrapping fees and restoring grants - and use it to also reduce the national debt.
His second suggestion was to put into place a seven per cent rise in national insurance for people who earn over £50,000-a-year, as well as increase corporation tax to 20.5 per cent in order to fund maintenance grants.
Mr Corbyn’s advisers said the cost of eliminating tuition fees would be £7.1bn, while the cost of restoring student maintenance grants would be around £3bn, reports The Guardian.
In a statement on his website, he took the decision to apologise, on behalf of the Labour party, to the last generation of students for the imposition of fees, top-up fees and the replacement of grants with loans by previous Labour governments and insisted: “I opposed those changes at the time – as did many others – and now we have an opportunity to change course.”
When tuition fees were first introduced in the UK under Tony Blair's Labour government in 1998, Mr Corbyn voted against the policy and later voted against them being raised.
In the statement, the Islington North MP insisted he wanted to bring England into line with the rest of the UK and 12 other countries throughout Europe to not charge student tuition fees, calling it the “sensible approach.”
In an interview with The Huffington Post, he blamed the Tory government for standing “against the young” and also and mentioned his ambitions to create a Labour party that listens to the needs of society as a whole – with the youngest members at its core.
Income tax receipts are due to increase by £15 billion between 2019/20 and 2020/21. We should use two-thirds of that to reduce student debt - by scrapping fees and restoring grants - and use the remaining one-third to reduce the national debt.
The MP is inviting the public to give their opinions on his two suggestions on his website.Reuse content