POLITICS

Lib Dems Promise To Reverse Schools Cuts With Extra £7bn In Education Funding

But Labour have promised even more.

10/05/2017 07:04 BST | Updated 10/05/2017 07:06 BST
PA Wire/PA Images

The Lib Dems have unveiled plans to invest £6.9bn in schools and colleges, reversing government cuts.

Tim Farron said today his party would challenge Theresa May to stop taking “parents across the country for granted” with her decision to “cut our schools to the bone”.

The money would come from reversing cuts to capital gains tax and the marriage tax allowance.

But Labour will also today launch its own education plans which includes a radical extra £20bn in funding paid for by reversing the Tories’ planned cuts to corporation tax.

To fund Labour’s plans for a National Education Service, corporation tax would rise from its current 19% level to 26% by 2021/22.

There would be a real terms increase in funding, with £4.8bn extra going to English schools each year by the end of the parliament.

For the Lib Dems, Farron said his £6.9bn cash injection would be spent on protecting per pupil funding in schools, the pupil premium, further education funding as well as investing in teacher training.

Sarah Olney, the Lib Dem education spokesperson, said “children are being taught in overcrowded classes by overworked teachers - but Theresa May doesn’t care.

“While funding per pupil is set to see the biggest cuts in a generation, billions of pounds are being spent on divisive plans to expand grammars and free schools. This extra £7bn of funding would ensure no school and no child loses out.

She added: “We will reverse crippling Conservative cuts to school budgets and invest to ensure every child has the opportunity to succeed.”

According to the National Audit Office, school Budgets face cuts of £3bn in real terms by 2019-20 under the Conservative plans - the equivalent to reducing spending by 8% per pupil.

The National Association of Head Teachers’ general secretary Russell Hobby said: “This General Election is a make or break moment for education. School budgets are at breaking point right now.

“More money for schools is absolutely vital. Whoever forms the next government needs to fund education fully and fairly, reversing the £3 billion of real terms cuts schools are facing.”

 David Gauke, the Conservative Chief Secretary to the Treasury, rubbished the Lib Dem plan. He said the party “won’t even tell people about the tax rises they would bring in” to fund its pledges.