Opposition Day — [16th Allotted Day] — Student Maintenance Grants

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 4:01 pm on 19th January 2016.

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Photo of Tommy Sheppard Tommy Sheppard Shadow SNP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office) 4:01 pm, 19th January 2016

I have been told not to take an intervention.

A small minority do become rich, and if the Government want them to pay, they should introduce a progressive taxation system whereby people pay more when they start to earn those high wages. Instead, of course, they are cutting taxes for the highest earners in our communities. Nowhere is this thrown into sharper relief than in the situation of nurses and midwives. The abolition of grants for nurses and midwives will not only penalise the people who want to contribute to our national health service but undermine our NHS itself. Not for the first time, I am so pleased that in Scotland we have a Scottish Government who stand between the young people in that country and the mal intent of this

Government here. We will not abolish grants for nurses or midwives. We will maintain maintenance grants. Most of all, we will keep tuition free and we will make sure that people are not saddled with the debts they are saddled with in this country. If ever there was a case for a measure not applying and not being certified, it is this, because I have more than 2,000 constituents directly affected and it is unfair that my vote will be disregarded.