Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/articles/9973

Posted on 15 July 2010 at 17:02 GMT

Lib Dems propose student graduate tax: Students must fight for free education

The Lib Dem Business and Skills secretary, Vince Cable, has asked the higher education funding review, chaired by Lord Browne, to consider his proposal of a graduate tax as an alternative to higher tuition fees.

Matt Dobson

Under Cable's system the government would pay the amount charged in fees directly to universities instead of lending money through the Student Loan Company to students to cover the cost.

Currently in England and Northern Ireland students pay annual fees of 3,225 a year, payable after graduation.

It is clear that Cable and his Lib Dem supporters are not arguing for a graduate tax out of any genuine concern for the financial position of students.

The national union of students (NUS) has criticised Cable's proposal, expressing fears that a non-means tested graduate tax, which would begin at the basic tax threshold, could mean poorer students paying even more than under the fees system.

This is because a graduate tax will be deducted using the present tax banding system, as opposed to the current student loan repayment system, where nothing is charged while your earnings are below 15,000.

The UCU lecturers' trade union has correctly called Cable's graduate tax a "rebranding exercise" and a "con".

Cable is trying to persuade his Tory coalition partners that the graduate tax brand is easier to sell to students than higher fees.

Tory universities minister David Willetts strongly hinted in June that the Conservatives were in favour of a gradual increase in fees, leading to lifting the cap completely on tuition fees, rather than a graduate tax.

This is supported by the Russell Group of elite universities. Cable and the other Lib Dem ministers have signed up to a coalition government with the Tories, alienating many students who had hopes in their false election promises to scrap fees.

The agreement means, if, as is likely, the Tories accept Browne's recommendations for a rise in fees, the majority of Lib Dem MPs would only abstain on a vote in parliament, thus protecting the coalition's existence at the expense of students.

But either option will mean students will pay a heavy price. Cable's proposals for higher education also included recommendations to increase the number of privately run universities and to slash many university courses down to two year degrees run on the cheap.

Cable agrees with the Tory agenda of huge cut-backs in higher education, forcing students to pay now or later, with increased charges and more debt.

Staff face job losses and the race to the bottom in terms and conditions which will attend an expansion of private universities.

Labour leadership candidates Ed Miliband and Ed Balls have now also jumped on the graduate tax bandwagon after being ministers in the New Labour era which introduced tuition fees.

Their supporters in the right-wing NUS leadership have let politicians get away with proposing a graduate tax as a progressive alternative to fees by abandoning the policy of fighting for free education and living grants and calling for a means-tested graduate tax.

In contrast Socialist Students and Youth Fight for Jobs have consistently opposed any plans for a graduate tax or increased fees.

Politicians like Cable want to tax students and graduates but let the bankers and the rich avoid tax.

The emergency budget lowered corporation tax for big business, which already makes huge profits out of universities.

This wealth could help to fund free, fully publicly-funded education at all levels and living grants for all students.

Socialist Students and Youth Fight for Jobs are active in the fightback against cuts, fees and privatisation in universities and colleges across the country.

We call for a united campaign, involving the participation of the student population, the trade unions and the wider working class in mass action, including national demonstrations and student strikes, to begin in the autumn.

This way we can start to fight the plans of the Con-Dem government.

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






Related links:

Education:

triangleBrighton victory

triangleUni market 'failure', two-year degrees - end cuts, scrap fees!

trianglePlans to launch no-cuts campaign at Kirklees College

triangleDemonstrations by uni students and staff greet Bath vice-chancellor resignation

triangleTeachers strike in Sheffield

Tax:

triangleThe Socialist Inbox

triangleTrump's tax plan: Robin Hood in reverse

triangleThem & us

triangleTrump's tax attacks

Students:

triangleLiverpool John Moores Uni landslide for Socialist Students

triangleSocialist Students national conference

triangleBrighton Uni lecturers strike against job cuts

Fees:

triangleMarch for free education! We demand a future!

triangleSocialist Students actions against uni fees on Budget Day

Universities:

triangleUniversity of Leeds workers walk out

Reports and campaigns

Reports and campaigns

13/12/17

Woolwich

Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

13/12/17

Devon

Totnes MP uses coffin controversy to distract from brutal NHS cuts

13/12/17

Miners

Tory plan to hold dinner at coal mining museum defeated

13/12/17

Bradford

Bradford campaign to save children's services launched

13/12/17

Housing

Six months on - still no justice for Grenfell

13/12/17

Fracking

Movement growing against fracking giant Ineos

13/12/17

South London

South London health bosses' cover-up

13/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite day of action against blacklisting

13/12/17

Brighton

Brighton victory

13/12/17

Newham

Newham anti-academies strikes

13/12/17

Tamil Solidarity

Tamil Solidarity and Refugee Rights activists meeting

7/12/17

Blacklisting

Unite protest against blacklisting

7/12/17

RMT

Anti-DOO lobby of Liverpool's transport committee

6/12/17

Donald Trump

Mobilise to stop bigoted billionaire Donald Trump's state visit to Britain

6/12/17

Transport

Arriva bus strikers stand firm

triangleMore Reports and campaigns articles...


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

triangle13 Dec Support the Crossrail Woolwich walkout

triangle8 Dec Local government pay: fight for the 5% claim, fully funded

triangle6 Dec Strikers rally in Liverpool

triangle6 Dec Corbyn's Labour can defeat Tories with socialist programme

triangle5 Dec Victory at Glenfield shows people power can save our NHS

triangle5 Dec Labour council Blairites deselected

triangle30 Nov Victory: Glenfield Children's Heart Centre saved!

More ...

triangle13 Dec Caerphilly Socialist Party: Are we heading for an era of war?

triangle14 Dec Wakefield Socialist Party: Universal Credit - the Tories' latest assault on the poor

triangle18 Dec Leeds Socialist Party: Religion and Socialism

triangle19 Dec Bristol North Socialist Party: Christmas social

More ...

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

Archive

Archives:

December 2017

November 2017

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