6.6 C
Inverness
Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Starmer’s Student Debt Bomb Revealed

- Advertisement -

The SNP has said “Westminster has completely failed young people” – as new figures reveal the growing cost of student debt under the Tories and Labour Party.

The analysis, commissioned by the SNP, shows that since the Labour Party first introduced University tuition fees in 1998, the cost of student debt has soared.

In 2000, the average loan debt for students graduating in England was £2,690 but by 2022 that had risen to £44,730 – an increase of over sixteen times more debt.

In Scotland, where the SNP government abolished tuition fees in 2007, the analysis shows levels of student debt are significantly lower.

In 2022, average student debt in Scotland was £29,960 lower than in England – with students graduating university with 67% less debt.

The research follows Keir Starmer’s U-turn on abolishing tuition fees, which the analysis shows will cost graduates in England an average of £21,000 each in lifetime loan repayments.

University and College Union (UCU) general secretary Jo Grady described the move as “deeply disappointing” warning “Keir Starmer repeatedly pledged to abolish the toxic system of tuition fees and in doing so was elected leader of the Labour party.

“It is deeply disappointing for him to now be reneging on that promise, a move which would condemn millions of future students to a life of debt.”

The Labour Party, Tories and Lib Dems have repeatedly broken their election promises on tuition fees – introducing them in 1998, increasing them to £3000 a year in 2004, tripling them to £9000 a year in 2010, and raising them again in 2016 to £9250 a year.

In Scotland, Labour introduced back-door tuition fees via the graduate endowment, which the SNP later abolished.

The analysis shows that a student graduating in 2023/24 from the same universities and courses as Sir Keir Starmer did in the mid-1980s would leave with £62,000-£64,000 more debt.

While Sir Keir paid no tuition fees from his time at the Universities of Leeds and Oxford, students now pay £9,250 a year, and while the maximum maintenance grant in the mid-1980s was around £5,300 in real terms, there is currently no grant for students from England.

Commenting, SNP Education spokesperson Carol Monaghan MP said:

“Westminster has completely failed young people by forcing them into obscene levels of debt, which the likes of Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak never had to pay when they went to university.

“It’s shocking that, having benefited from free education and maintenance grants, Sir Keir is now robbing young people of the same opportunities. 

“In his own Nick Clegg moment, Starmer will burden the average graduate in England with a debt bomb of around £45,000 before they’ve even started their working lives.

“It’s no wonder young people are finding it impossible to get on the housing ladder or afford a family – when they are drowning in debt imposed by the Tories and pro-Brexit Labour Party.

“The SNP is the only party offering real change with independence – and we will always stand by our commitment to free education, which has left graduates in Scotland thousands of pounds better off as a result.

“At the next election, voting SNP is the only way to secure independence, tackle the cost of living and get rid of unelected Tory governments for good.”

- Advertisement -
Latest news
- Advertisement -spot_img
Related news
- Advertisement -spot_imgspot_img