Write off recent student fees debt, says Green Party

Jon Stone
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Students who paid £9,000 a year tuition fees should have their debt written off, the Greens have said.

The party, which has one MP in Brighton but which is targeting other seats such as Bristol West and Stroud, also says it wants tuition fees scrapped.

“Education is a public good, and we’re proud to invest in the next generation. That’s why the Green Party is committed to scrapping tuition fees," deputy leader Amelia Womack said.

“It makes me so angry that tuition fees were introduced by a Labour government which had benefited from free education themselves. Then the coalition government tripled fees, scrapped maintenance grants, and sold off the student loan book.

“The result is a generation of young people saddled with mountains of debt as they start out in life. So yes, we say education should be free, for life, for everyone.”

The Greens however stopped short of saying all student debt should be written off. Students who paid under the earlier fees systems would still have to make contributions.

The party is very unlikely to win the general election, but if the result is close its MP or MPs could demand policies in exchange for political support in the Commons.

Since Jeremy Corbyn became Labour leader the main opposition party has also been in favour of free education. It has toyed with the idea of writing off student debt, though firm proposals did not ultimately make it into the party's 2019 manifesto.

There are no fees for students in Scotland, where education continues to be free – as it was in the 1990s and before.

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