Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/957/25880

From The Socialist newspaper, 26 July 2017

Abolish tuition fees and student debt!

PA anti-austerity demo 1.7.17, photo Mary Finch

Click for gallery. PA anti-austerity demo 1.7.17, photo Mary Finch   (Click to enlarge)

Clare Laker-Mansfield, Socialist Students national organiser

Jeremy Corbyn's election pledge to abolish tuition fees, with the bold promise that this would be fast-tracked to come into effect from September, was one of the most attractive and popular offers in Labour's manifesto.

Combined with other socialist policies including a 10 an hour minimum wage, nationalisation and an end to austerity cuts, it was a major factor in generating an enthusiastic surge in support for Corbyn. Almost two-thirds of voting 18-25 year olds are thought to have backed him.

This should come as little surprise, especially when you consider the staggering debt levels of graduates - last year, 44,000 on average. Students from disadvantaged backgrounds often end their courses owing as much as 60,000 for a three-year degree.

To make matters worse, interest rates are set to increase to 6.1% from September. This means the (already huge) sums owed will quickly escalate. With falling wages and increasing levels of insecure and low-paid work among graduates, this all adds up to a lifelong debt burden. Outstanding student debt in the UK has now reached over 100 billion in total.

It was therefore very warmly received when, during an interview in the lead up to the election, Corbyn hinted that, as well as abolishing fees, he might support writing off existing student debt.

Costings

Unfortunately, it appears that Corbyn is not prepared to commit to this. On the Andrew Marr show he said that, at the time of his pre-election comments, he had not known the full 'costings' for such a policy and was therefore unable to make such a commitment.

In an example of truly breath-taking hypocrisy, the Tories have seized on this as an opportunity to attack Corbyn for 'lying' and to repeat their refrain that Corbyn's policies are unaffordable. Almost like a pincer movement, the Tory attacks have been combined with the renewed attempts from Labour's right at undermining him.

The Blairites are also opponents of Corbyn on the question of free education. Indeed only recently at a Progress conference, Blairite MP Wes Streeting admitted that, far from wanting to wipe out student debt, he actually opposed free education altogether!

But Corbyn makes a mistake by agreeing to the terms of debate as set out by the capitalist establishment on the question of 'costings'. The reality is there is enormous wealth in society - far more than enough to eliminate student debt many times over.

During the banking crisis over 850 billion (and billions more in 'quantitative easing') was found in order to save capitalism from itself. Bailouts are acceptable for super-rich banksters - but for working class people struggling to pay back extortionate tuition fees they are 'simply unaffordable'.

Corbyn should boldly call for the abolition of student debt. As a first idea for how to fund it - how about nationalising the banking system we bailed out, with compensation to shareholders only on the basis of proven need? Their huge profits could then be used for the benefit of society.

With the government on the ropes Corbyn must go on the offensive, taking on both the right in his own party and the Tory government, and putting forward the kind of socialist programme necessary to transform society in the interests of the 99%.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 26 July 2017:


What we think

Right wing attempts to use single market against Corbyn


Socialist Party workplace news

Barts health strike: Low pay, no way!

Birmingham bin workers stand firm

Bron Afon workers strike against 3,000 pay cut

Court victory for PCS and all trade unions

Tesco's 10% pay increase accompanied by cuts and job losses

Mears workers escalate action to all-out strike

Workers' campaign underway to stop ward closure

Workplace news in brief


International socialist news and analysis

Building workers' struggle and the forces of international socialism


Socialist Party news and analysis

Abolish tuition fees and student debt!

Education cuts: Tories buckling under public pressure

BBC yawning pay gaps revealed

Homelessness and evictions soar under the Tories

Them & Us


Art and the Russian revolution

Russia 1917: how art helped make the revolution


Young Socialists

Young people...fight for a future, fight for socialist policies


Grenfell Tower

Grenfell survivors tell Tories: "Step down and resign"

Vigil for Grenfell

Tenants' meeting reveals huge anger


Socialist Party reports and campaigns

Corbyn visits Southampton on marginal seat tour

Huddersfield A&E closure referred to Jeremy Hunt

From Militant to the Socialist Party - what you thought

Socialist sales at Salford station

Street cleaners support the Birmingham bin strike

'Freedom riders' lobby against violent policing

Council meeting abandoned after undercover policing protest

Education cuts forced back in Hackney

Southampton councillors faced with angry anti-cuts campaigners

Plans to bring A-levels back to Knowsley abandoned


 

Home   |   The Socialist 26 July 2017   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate   |   Audio  |   PDF  |   ebook






Related links:

Debt:

triangleYoung people being strangled by debts

triangleNasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangleNHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

triangleHousing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

triangleTories wreck our NHS

Tuition Fees:

triangleThe Tories must be driven out

triangleFreshers week campaigning reports

triangleFight for free education

triangleFight tuition fees

Student:

triangleWhat we saw

triangleCatalonia: Student strike called

triangleWhy do young people need socialism?

Fees:

triangleKick out the Tories, fight for free education!

triangleCaerphilly Socialist Party: How to abolish university tuition fees?

Election:

triangleGermany: Election results in political earthquake

Education:

triangleStriking back against the sackers' charter at Leeds University

Government:

triangleWorkers' anger increases after Royal Mail bosses block strike - back postal workers

Students:

triangleSocialist Students 'welcome' Hillary Clinton to Swansea

Socialist Students:

triangleCardiff Socialist Students confront 'Parasite' Jacob Rees-Mogg

Jeremy Corbyn:

triangleHundreds turn out for rally aimed at removing west Wales Tory MP

Manifesto:

triangleHow can Corbyn's programme be implemented?

News and socialist analysis

News and socialist analysis

18/10/17

What we saw

What we saw

18/10/17

Food

Obesity epidemic: end food market anarchy

18/10/17

NHS

Tories scrap the NHS pay cap: now fight for real-terms pay rises!

18/10/17

Debt

Young people being strangled by debts

18/10/17

Brexit

Tories torn - bin them now

13/10/17

Labour

The end of the Tories?

11/10/17

Tories

Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

11/10/17

Black history

The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against capitalist austerity

11/10/17

Housing

Housing crisis: Corbyn's positive measures blanked by Labour's right

11/10/17

Universal Credit

Major attacks 'Universal Credit', half a million more face poverty

11/10/17

Them & Us

Them & Us

11/10/17

NHS

NHS meltdown - fight the Tory cuts

11/10/17

IMF

IMF helps cause inequality it slams

4/10/17

NHS

Tories wreck our NHS

4/10/17

Workers

Monarch abdicates responsibility to workers

triangleMore News and socialist analysis articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

triangle19 Oct Waltham Forest Young Socialists: Deaths in police custody

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2