Thursday, 15 October 2009

Lib Dems demand clarity on tuition fees - but not from themselves!

This was posted on the 'scrap tuition fees' Facebook site. No mention of the fact that the Lib Dems "commitment" to abolish tuition fees was firmly kicked over the fence upon which the Lib Dems love to loiter and into the long grass at Lib Dem conference? It's now little more than a declared aspiration 'once we've got the money' and we all know that we don't have the money, otherwise Labour would never have introduced fees in the first place. (Someone has suggested there's a degree of sophistry over the use of the phrase "tuition fees model" below? Anyone care to explain?) Here's the post....

"Yesterday's London Evening Standard front page story let the cat out of the bag on Tory HE policy. It seems they are willing to contemplate £7,000pa tuition fees... as long as students benefit! In yesterday's House of Commons debate on HE I made it clear that the Lib Dems are still the only party pledged to abolish the tuition fees model for financing universities. The Labour government and the Conservatives have been hiding behind the fees review, which has yet to start its work and now won't finish until AFTER the general election. Students and parents deserve to have more clarity at the election. If you have a Conservative MP, why not write and ask if they agree with increasing fees. And if you've a Labour MP, demand that they come clean on their proposals BEFORE the general election."

Best wishes,


Lib Dem Shadow Innovation, Universities and Skills Secretary

PS let me know of responses from Tory and Labour MPs!


Paul said...

For the full story of how the Lib Dems have flip flopped in their sandals on tuition fees see

The promise was clearly only a cynical ploy to win the student vote and the tuition fees policy is often described as something to make them look different at the election, rather than a point of supreme principle which they believe in.

ellie said...

Dear Stephen,

If the Lib Dems were in government (bear with me), would I pay tuition fees? I mean I know you're all really nice, and would love it if I didn't have to, but would I? Like, in reality?


Bristol Dave said...

Let us not forget that it was your government that introduced tuition fees, saddling students with crippling debt for decades to come, despite many claims before the election from various people including Tony Blair that you wouldn't.

You then promised in your 2001 Manifesto you wouldn't introduce top-up fees, and then in spite of this, that jug-eared moron Charles Clarke blithely went and introduced legislation to enable universities to charge them anyway, justifying this decision with the most laughable excuse imaginable (that the Manifesto committment only applied to that term).

Further to this, I dread to think what Gordon Brown's decision to sell off the student loan book will do to students. Who's going to buy it? How do I know who does buy it won't send me a letter telling me my monthly payments are to double?

You and your party are in no position to criticise anyone on their stance on tuition fees.