Tuition Fees

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 7:32 pm on 30th November 2010.

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Photo of John Denham John Denham Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 7:32 pm, 30th November 2010

I will come in a moment to the core issue that divides us. The hon. Gentleman is right to say that the fees system that we introduced has no up-front fees -[Interruption.] No, the fees system introduced by the previous Labour Government has no up-front fees. The proposals introduced by this Government do not have up-front fees, but let me explain to him what the fundamental difference is between the policy of the previous Labour Government and that of this coalition Government. We took higher education public funding of universities to record levels, and the fees that we introduced brought extra money to the universities on top of record levels of public funding. The coalition Government's proposals are based on an 80% cut in public funding to higher education, and the fees that graduates will pay under their plans merely replace the money that has been cut from higher education; they do not generate additional money. That is a massive difference between the policy of this Government and the policy of the Labour party.