Jessica Morden Jessica Morden - Labour MP for Newport East, Shadow Deputy Leader of the House of Commons and PPS to Keir Starmer
The Labour Party pledges major increase in funding for tuition fees, with boost for Wales
The Labour Party has announced that we will use the £2.9bn proceeds generated from restricting Pension Tax Relief for those on the highest incomes to reduce student tuition fees.
This additional investment will provide a significant consequential funding boost to Welsh Government, which has experienced a £1.5bn cut under this Tory-Liberal UK Government.
Welsh students already pay significantly lower tuition fees than their English counterparts and a review, led by Sir Ian Diamond, is underway into future arrangements for higher education in Wales.
We are delighted with this announcement. So many of the people we speak to feel betrayed by the Lib Dems after their broken promise to abolish tuition fees. The next Labour government to rebuild peoples’ trust in politics and know that by delivering on this pledge in government we can begin to restore some of that faith.
Welsh students have been protected from these tuition fee rises thanks to the actions and investment of the Labour Government here in Wales, showing the real difference our values can make to people’s lives. However, many Welsh students are still angry that their English friends face sky high fees, so the promise to increase funding for Wales and of lower fees for English students will be welcomed across the board.
Owen Smith MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Wales said: “This announcement is great news for students and great news for Wales. Welsh Labour has already shown that even in the toughest economic times a government can find ways to support students. So this additional funding for Wales will be well spent by a government that truly values education.
“I am proud that UK Labour is learning lessons from Wales on the value of supporting peoples’ aspirations, especially through investing in our youth. When Labour wins the general election in May, this will be one of many examples of a fundamental shift in the relationship between the governments in Westminster and Cardiff Bay. Rather than the sneering attacks that have come to define this Tory UK government’s attitude to Wales, we will rebuild a mature relationship based on mutual respect.”
Huw Lewis, Minister for Education and Skills, said: “We are proud to have the best and the fairest system of student support anywhere in the UK. It is great to see UK Labour righting the wrongs of the coalition government, and today’s news will be a huge boost to many studying here in Wales. The consequential funding available as a result of this policy will provide the Welsh Government with much needed additional resource following the Tory and Liberal cut of £1.5bn to our budget this term.
“Our own future arrangements for higher education funding are currently undergoing a thorough review through the work of Sir Ian Diamond and his interim report is being published later this year. We have always been clear, we want a world class Higher Education sector in Wales that supports its students to succeed and that will not change. The independent HEPI report published this week gives strong support to our approach on higher education.
“Following UK Labour’s commitment to building on our Jobs Growth Wales programme, this is further evidence of the party working together to create the best policies for the whole of the UK.”