Tuition Fees

Part of Opposition Day — [7th Allotted Day] – in the House of Commons at 9:16 pm on 30th November 2010.

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Photo of Malcolm Bruce Malcolm Bruce Chair, International Development Committee 9:16 pm, 30th November 2010

What is clear is that the Government have a policy, whereas the Labour party absolutely does not. I have the utmost respect for Joan Ruddock, who spoke with genuine commitment and sincerity, and I take the point that she is making. But what does she say to people who tell her that under this system they will not be able to go to university, that they could not have gone to university or that their children will not be able to go? Does she say, "You are absolutely right. You should despair. Just despair"? Does she not say that they should have a proper look at what is actually being proposed? I accept entirely the cultural fear that people have of debt, but there are no fees to be paid up front, increased maintenance support-grants and loans-is available and people pay the money back only as and when they earn salaries that are rising. People from poorer backgrounds should seriously reflect that that gives them more opportunity to go to university than ever was the case before.