Tuition Fees

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 7:59 pm on 30th November 2010.

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Photo of Vincent Cable Vincent Cable The Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 7:59 pm, 30th November 2010

No, I will not take any more interventions.

The right hon. Gentleman and his hon. Friends commissioned the Browne report knowing perfectly well that what would follow from it was a recommendation significantly to increase the cap level for universities. That is what they were committed to, and that is what they would have done. We know, because of the financial position of the country and the commitments made by the former Chancellor and by my predecessor, that there would have been deep cuts in this Department resulting in a very substantial reduction in the support for universities, the consequences of which were inevitable.

It is sheer dishonesty and opportunism- [ Interruption. ] It is dishonest and opportunistic for the right hon. Gentleman and his colleagues to pretend that they would have done anything other than introduce recommendations to increase the graduate contribution, but with one significant difference from what we have done, because it never occurred to them that the graduate contribution should be made significantly more progressive. That is what we have done, and that is the proposition that I will be putting to the vote before Christmas.