This is a letter from Tony Lloyd, the MP for Manchester Central, to UoM Lecturer Jerome de Groot.
“Dear Dr de Groot,
Thank you for your correspondence about Tuition Fees. I have delayed responding to you because I wanted to see what the possibility is of the Government being defeated on this issue. What is clear is that Labour and all the other Opposition parties will vote against the trebling of Tuition Fees. However, it would require the Liberal Democrats, not simply to abstain, but to vote in significant numbers themselves against these proposals. As that now seems to not be the case, this originally Conservative policy is de facto being supported by every single Liberal Democrat MP who doesn’t vote against this legislation.
Such high fees are not necessary. They are going up so much because the Government has chosen to cut funding for university teaching by 80%. This will put Higher Education and access to Higher Education in serious jeopardy.
The Government will provide concessions to the poorest students, but students from quite poor or modest income households are likely to be the worst affected by these proposals. These high fees are not fair because graduates will now have to pay much more over a longer period. Graduates will be forced to pay the whole cost of most degrees (to replace the cut in funding), instead of sharing the costs with the state. As a result, graduates will pay much more overall, and pay back for up to 30 years. The talk of generous fixed rates of repayment is nonsense as real commercial rates of interest are being introduced.
None of this can remotely be justified even on the most spurious grounds on the state of the economy, as by its very nature and in the short term, it will increase indebtedness in our society.
With best wishes,
Tony Lloyd MP