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Mike's Ilford Recorder Column - 12 March 2015

All parents want our children and grandchildren to succeed, to get a good education, a secure job, and good housing. Our government and society should be investing in the future of our young people so that they are equipped not only to make the most of their potential to be successful for themselves, but also to build the long-term economic success our country needs.   

Unfortunately the present younger generation are  being badly let down by the Conservative/Liberal Democrat government. Since 2010 it has closed Sure Start centres, trebled tuition fees, reduced training opportunities and increased housing costs.

I am pleased that Labour will help the  the next generation succeed. Labour will tackle spiraling debt which averages £44,000 per graduate, by cutting the tuition fee cap from £9,000 to £6,000 for undergraduates from September 2016. We will also provide grants of an extra £400  to students from low and middle income families. This will form part of Labour’s Young People’s Guarantee, including apprenticeships and a Compulsory Jobs Guarantee funded by a Bank Bonus Tax.  

Cutting tuition fees isn't just about lowering the debt of university students it is also about cutting our national debt. Three quarters of present students will never pay their loan back in full as the government’s system writes the debt off after 30 years if it is still unpaid. If left unchecked the system will add £281 billion to the national debt by 2030.

We can’t carry on with this unfair system. Labour’s changes will be funded by restricting pension tax relief for those on the highest incomes and by asking the highest earning graduates to contribute a little more. Labour will ensure that the next generation isn't left behind.  

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