At a launch event at Birmingham City University, Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn unveiled their official 2019 election manifesto. During the launch, attended by hundreds of students, Mr Corbyn repeated the party’s pledge to scrap university tuition fees. But the policy is expected to cost the Treasury eight billion a year in additional borrowing, according to research by the Institute for Fiscal Studies.
Not everyone agrees tuition fees should be wiped, favouring a cut to the existing fee.
Philip Augar, a former equities broker, produced a report into student funding for the Government and recommended tuition fees should be cut but not scrapped.
He said fees should be cut to £7,500, down from the current cap of £9.250.
The review said: “Generous and undirected funding has led to an oversupply of some courses at great cost to the taxpayer and a corresponding undersupply of graduates in strategically important sectors.
“Our recommendations would restore more control over taxpayer support and reduce what universities may charge each student.”
Others have called for tuition fees to return to £3,000, the figure students paid before David Cameron and Nick Clegg’s coalition government trebled student fees.
But Labour argue by making tuition free, more working-class people will be attracted to university.
As a result, Express.co.uk is asking you, our readers if you back Labour’s plan to scrap university tuition fees.
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This year a record number of 18-year-olds in England applied for a place at university.
UCAS figures show 236,350 school leavers – 40% in total – had applied by this year’s deadline of 30 June – 3,970 more than in 2018.
Across the UK as a whole, 275,520 young people have applied to university this year – up from 272,910 at the same point in 2018.
Discussing the news on social media, voters have questioned how the policy will be funded.
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One person wrote: “Labour wanting to abolish tuition fees? It’s rarely fully paid back and the only ones who do are earning decent money, and surely they’re all for having it off them?
“Makes zero sense and is another loss of money to the Governmentt – where are all these promises going to be funded?”
Another person said: “A question for Corbyn – how will the university’s be funded if you stop the tuition fees. The fees pay the staff.”
A third suggested reducing fees to £3,000, they wrote: “Tuition fees should go back to £3k in my opinion.
“I think a small fee is the most sustainable way forward. £9k is insane.”
At the manifesto launch Mr Corbyn said his party will also consider student debt relief.
He told the crowd in Birmingham he would look at ways to help those who have already incurred large debts from university tuition fees, and would not sell off loans to private companies.
Asked about students with existing debt, the Labour leader said: “We are looking at ways in which we can stabilise it, which we can bring about some relief for those that have incurred an enormous debt at university.”
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