Ons Decisions: Student Loans

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:41 pm on 18th December 2018.

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Photo of Paul Sweeney Paul Sweeney Shadow Minister (Scotland) 12:41 pm, 18th December 2018

When I went to university 10 years ago, I was the first member of my family to do so, but because I was from a low-income background, I benefited from bursaries, which supported me through education. Unfortunately, Governments in both Edinburgh and London have cut back bursaries over the past decade, meaning that student loan debt in Scotland is £5 billion this year—up from £1.8 billion 10 years ago, which is a 169% increase—and that the individual debt of a student in Scotland has gone from £5,900 a year to £13,000 a year on average. Do the Government not recognise that such an increase is unsustainable and, reflecting the ONS results, that we have to restore a grant system?