Raising tuition fees will not affect students says Liberal Democrat Councillor

9 Nov

Future students will never be able to repay their tuition fees, so raising them will not matter, according to a Liberal Democrat Councillor.

Duwayne Brooks said:  “In terms of debt, I look at it this way – if I went to university and came out with a debt of £36,000 I would never get anyone chasing me down for the money.

Councillor Duwayne Brooks

Don't worry about the debt: Cllr Brooks

“I would never get a bailiff. If I were to earn £27,000 a year I would be paying back £7 a week. You could pay more for life insurance.”

The Liberal Democrats gained many university seats through pledging to vote against rises in tuition fees but have now approved them as part of the coalition.

By 2012 universities will be able to charge up to £9,000 in fees which the National Union of Students dubbed an ‘outrage’.
But Lewisham Councillor Brooks believes that the rising fees will not truly affect students.


Deputy PM Nick Clegg

Promises, promised: Nick Clegg campaigns

He said: “Most people will never be able to pay the money back! I don’t understand when I hear students saying ‘I’m going to have so much debt.’”

How will these new rules help?

Under new rules graduates earning less than £21,000 per year would not pay any interest, but rates would rise to inflation plus 3% at more than £41,000.

The lowest earning quarter of future graduates will pay less back overall than they do under the current system.

Universities Minister David Willetts said the fees package would bring “greater choice for students with a stronger focus on high quality teaching.”

What did the Browne report say?

Lord Browne’s review proposed many changes to England’s higher education system such as no limit on tuition fees, with the fees being written off after 30 years, rather than 25.

He also said all students should be entitled to £3,750 maintenance loans, instead of the current means tested system, and suggested raising maintenance grants by £500.

When the £9,000 were suggested

Students will be marching in London to protest the fee hike

Cllr Brooks said: “Labour commissioned the Browne report because they knew there was an issue.

“The Liberal Democrats said they wouldn’t have raised tuition fees, but then Labour said they wouldn’t introduce them in the first place.”

“That’s just how it is.”

Brooks also said that before they were elected neither the Liberal Democrats or Conservatives had any idea of the extent of the money problems.

He said: “At election time you’re always going to get someone saying ‘A’ to you, but when they get into power they realise that there’s no money left. That’s just how it is.”


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