Andy Burnham Has Promised To Scrap Tuition Fees
The Debrief: The fight is on for the potential next leader of the Labour party to win over young people
Following fellow Labour leadership candidate Jeremy Corbyn’s £10 billion plan to scrap all tuition fees and restore student maintenance grants, Andy Burnham has now pledged to replace tuition fees with a graduate tax if he becomes Labour leader.
Speaking on Radio 4’s Today programme, Burnham said that scrapping tuition fees would ‘lift the millstone of debt’ from students.
Jeremy Corbyn has argued that by either increasing national insurance by 7% for those earning over £50,000 and raising corporation tax by 2.5%, or by slowing the pace at which the deficit is reduced, he could abolish tuition fees and restore £3 billion worth of maintenance grants.
One of the other four potential leaders of the Labour party, Yvette Cooper, has also said that she would support a graduate tax and claims to have been against tuition fees since 1999, despite serving on the front bench when the government introduced them.
In his manifesto, Andy Burnham has also proposed ‘creating new university-style support for young people seeking apprenticeships’.
Meanwhile, an independent inquiry into the student loans system has concluded that tuition fees may rise to £10,000 a year by the end of the decade. This is due to the fact that Chancellor George Osborne will now allow universities with ‘good quality’ teaching to raise their fees in line with inflation every year.
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