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A cap on the aspirations of young people
The Tory/Liberal Democrat Governments decision to treble university fees to £9,000 a year is a cap on the hopes and aspirations of many young people in Harrow.
The reason that this has happened is that the Coalition Government has made a choice, to cut public services deeper and faster than was either necessary or desirable. Liberal Democrat MP’s who signed a pledge to vote against a rise in fees at the last election could have stopped these plans, but they didn’t.
Instead the Coalition Government has cut funding for undergraduate teaching by 80%, shifting the vast majority of the cost of higher education onto students.
The Government’s plans are putting the squeeze on the squeezed middle. The brightest and best from families on middle incomes wanting to better themselves through going to university face being left with huge debts for much longer whilst those on the highest incomes can pay off their debts more quickly getting a much better deal as a result.
At a time when many countries around the world have chosen to invest in higher education Britain, almost alone, is cutting back. A well educated and highly skilled workforce is crucial to secure Britain’s economic recovery and build a fairer future.
Labour would not have had to make this choice. A Labour approach to halving the deficit over four years would have led to a more sensible plan, as they are doing in the United States and Japan, of spreading the savings over a longer period. This would combine the desire to secure the economic recovery, protect jobs and defend vital public services.
The decision to treble university fees is just the tip of the iceberg for a Government that is simply letting young people down: funding cuts threaten Children’s Centres, the ending of new school building projects and the scrapping of Educational Maintenance Allowance. Young people and their families in Harrow understandably feel let down by the Coalition Government.
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