Monday, September 28, 2009

Ken Livingstone rejects CBI’s proposals for an increase in tuition fees as “disastrous for the economy”

Last week (21/09/09) the Confederation of British Industry proposed that annual tuition fees should be increased to £5,000.

Ken Livingstone has rejected these proposals out of hand and supports the Free Education Campaign’s calls for a shift in government funding priorities, to ensure Britain can have the necessary, quality, free system of higher education required.

Ken Livingstone said:

"The Confederation of British Industry’s proposals for higher education should be rejected out of hand. Their calls for students to pay £5,000 annual tuition fees and for the scrapping of the target for half of young people to enter higher education would be disastrous for the economy as well as blighting the life chances of tens of thousands of young people.

We need to be taking steps to make Britain’s economy more successful with greater levels of long term growth. That is the way to deal with the current deficit not slash and burn policies that cut back on public services. Britain needs a highly skilled workforce to be successful in the global economy but is already falling behind many other countries in terms of university participation.

Greater investment in higher education is needed but rather than students and their families being burdened with further costs this should be funded progressively as part of the government’s overall economic priorities.

I support the Free Education Campaign’s calls that rather than wasting billions of pounds developing a new generation of nuclear weapons to replace Trident, introducing ID cards or sustaining a level of military spending well beyond Britain’s means, the government could invest funds in Higher Education. And as business is a key beneficiary from a highly skilled workforce, it should also make a fair contribution".

Please contact to find out more about how you can get involved with the Free Education Campaign or to add your name to the launch statement.

To join the debate about how we can end student debt and to read the Free Education Campaign launch statement please visit: