Letter: Confusion over student fees policy

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Sir: Your headline on the Government's higher education fees proposal, "Last minute bid to avoid fiasco over fees exemption" (13 August) is exactly right - a fiasco is precisely what the Government has created.

I have every sympathy for my constituent Lily Williams, quoted in your article as "disillusioned" over the Government's conduct. She and many others have written to me in complete confusion over the Government's intentions. There was nothing in Labour's manifesto to indicate the direction they were intending to take, nor does there appear to have been much strategic thinking behind the hurried announcement of a waiver of fees for voluntary work, and their even more hurried announcement that all students with deferred entry may be exempt.

It is astonishing that the Department for Education and Employment was prepared to leak these waiver rumours at the weekend yet refused in the following days to publish full details to reassure worried students. This government, having pledged priority for "education, education, education", now appears to be bent on spin, fudge and betrayal.


(Oxford West and Abingdon, Lib Dem)

House of Commons

London SW1