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Jeremy Corbyn Tuition Fees Petition Gains More Than 157,000 Signatures

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19/05/2016 10:37 | Updated 20 May 2016

Jeremy Corbyn has launched a scathing attack on government proposals to increase university tuition fees, describing the move as "an insult to the aspirations of young people".

The Labour leader backed a petition to prove the scale of opposition at the plans, and used his Snapchat account to promote the appeal.

The petition, hosted at www.thetorypricetag.com, had achieved over 157,000 signatures and counting by Friday morning.

Snapchat

Wednesday’s Queen Speech alluded to an upcoming Higher Education bill that will link tuitions fees to the quality of teaching.

It will provide those universities that can prove a high standard of tutoring the ability to increase their fees by inflation, and still further after two years.

In response, Corbyn told the House of Commons: “Students today are more in debt than ever and I want to make it clear to the Prime Minister, he will not get any support from these benches on raising tuition fees."

Snapchat

He continued: "This government is penalising students; announcing the abolition of maintenance grants last year and now announcing that fees will be raised even further.

"This is a tax on learning as the Chancellor of the Exchequer called it in 2003 from a government that cut taxes on capital gains.

"What message does that send about the economy they want to create?

"That wealth generates more wealth with minimal tax that effort and hard work lands you in a lifetime of debt with no support while you make that effort.

"What an insult to the aspirations of young people wanting an education."

Snapchat

University fees are currently capped at a limit of £9,000 per year, with almost all universities offering courses at this cost.

The argument that the very best British institutions should be allowed to charge more has been made in the past by leading vice-chancellors.

The government appears to be sympathetic to this idea, but has caveated that any increase in fees would be capped at inflation for at least the first two years.

On Monday, the National Union of Students said it expected members to be "outraged" by the move.

It comes as new research found students in England face the highest graduate debts in the English speaking world.

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