Care writing to young people as research shows debt risk with top-up fees

February 1, 2005 12:00 AM

Following research published in the National Institute Economic Review that reports top-up fees may triple student debt, Councillor Lucy Care, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson for Derby South, is writing to young people between 18 and 21 in Derby South.

Cllr Care stated, "There is huge concern that the Government's plans to bring in top-up fees will discourage able young people in Derby from going to university.

"This is yet more research that highlights the burden of tuition and top-up fees on young people, and shows how government policy on fees contradicts their targets to have people from all backgrounds going to university. People should be able to choose higher education on the basis of their ability, not their finances."

The Government's plans to introduce top up fees from 2006, not until after the expected General Election. A recent poll for the Independent suggests that a Lib Dem landslide is possible, with Charles Kennedy's party winning with a majority of 126, including seats like Derby South. Tuition fees and top up fees would then be scrapped, paid for by a 50% tax rate on earnings over £100,000 a year.

The Liberal Democrats are sending all the young people concerned a survey, which includes a petition to sign against tuition fees and top-up fees. This also asks for their opinions on other issues such as the Iraq War, law and order and the environment. There are also questions on housing and work. Cllr Care stated "I also want to hear about the experience of young people who are in work and on training schemes, as these are equally important routes to go."

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