Student top-up fees News release..

26.7.2000

BLAIR REFUSES TO RULE OUT STUDENT TOP-UP FEES

PM USES 1997 ELECTION CAMPAIGN PLEDGE ON TUITION FEES

In reply to a question from Lib Dem MP Edward Davey, Tony Blair today failed to rule out student top-up fees, which could amount to a 4000 bill for Kingston’s aspiring students.

Edward Davey asked the PM:

"Will the Prime Minister give the House a categorical assurance that his government will not introduce top-up fees for students, and would not introduce top-up fees if re-elected?"

The Prime Minister replied: "We have no plans to introduce top-up fees."

The Prime Minister’s words are identical to the ones he used a few days before polling day in 1997 when he said "Labour have no plans to introduce tuition fees."

Edward Davey commented:

"Students and parents in Kingston will remember that when Mr Blair says "we have no plans to" he really means "not yet". Labour’s tuition fees have already hit students hard. Now Labour won’t guarantee students that top-up fees aren’t to follow.

The people of Kingston will be wondering why the Prime Minister can’t rule out fees that would make it so much harder for their children to get a good education."

Notes

A recent report on higher education funding suggested that top-up fees of up to 4000 should be imposed on students to finance higher education.

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