Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
27 February 2015

Labour will cut fees from £9k to £6k, the party pledges

Ed Miliband and Ed Balls attack the coalition's fees model for betraying young people and piling billions onto the national debt, and pledge to reduce the headline fee by £3,000

By Stephen Bush

Labour will reduce tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000, the party has announced. In addition, the maintenance grant will rise by £4,00 to £3,800 for families paying the basic rate of income tax. Significantly, the policy will apply to students already at university, increasing its vote-winning potential.

Ed Miliband believes that the current system is both unsustainable – it is piling £16bn extra worth of debt to the public finances every year and will have added £281 bn worth to the national debt by 2030,  according to Labour analysis – and betrays what he calls the “promise of Britain”, that “the next generation would do better than the last”.

In a speech that binds together the coalition’s cuts to SureStart, benefit reforms and the rise in tuition fees, Ed Miliband will said:

“What has happened over the last five years is more than just a betrayal of election promises, it is a betrayal of an entire generation: a betrayal from their first steps to the time when they stride into the world of work; a betrayal from nursery to school, from college to university, a betrayal to the jobs or homes they hope to have afterwards – and even on their ability to vote.”

He revisited the “promise of Britain” idea, saying:

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday - from the New Statesman. The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.

“This used to be a country where it was almost taken for granted that the next generation would do better than the last. This was the Promise of Britain. Now we are a country where it is almost taken for granted they will do worse.

Content from our partners
How thriving cities can unlock UK productivity – with PwC
How the next government can build on the UK’s strength in services exports
What is the point of inheritance tax?

Ed Balls, also in attendance, added:

“This government’s system is not only bad for students it’s bad for the public finances too. Students are graduating with a bigger burden of debt and our zero-based review has exposed how it is leading to higher national debt too.”

The presence of the Shadow Chancellor – who has been rumoured to harbour doubts about the wisdom of the policy  – highlights Labour’s unity on the issue in the face of attacks both from business and vice-chancellors, and, removing that distraction from the discussion of a policy that Labour believe will allow them to lock in Liberal Democrat defectors.