Sunday, 8 Dec 2019

Labour could scrap tuition fee debt if they get into power, John McDonnell hints

Labour could write-off student debt as massive overhaul of higher education funding, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell suggested today.

Mr McDonnell refused to rule out the move, but said the party would be looking at the issue.

He also confirmed that a commitment to scrap tuition fees will be in the party's manifesto..

Asked on the BBC's Today programme about writing off the debts he said: "The system was designed in such a way that it would not work and it would eventually mean that large elements of this would have to be written off. 

"That is what the government has already had to do.

"There is, I think, an approach that has to be taken that looks at existing debt and we will be looking at some of these issues in the coming weeks."

It came after Unite General Sectary Len McCluskey said Labour's manifesto would transform the future for young people.

Mr McCluskey said he that debt would be "lifted off our youth".

He added: "You've only got to read what Labour is offering and I believe that once that happens, millions of people, ordinary working people will flock back to Labour, come home to Labour,' he said.

"Give your kids a future, give hope something that we can an all grab hold off – a million homes, the abolition of zero hour contracts, a £10 minimum wage for young people, student debt being lifted off our youth.

"The offer goes on and on and on, and what will also come out with manifesto will be the grey book where John McDonnell has costed every penny."

University fees are currently set at up to £9,000 a year, meaning that students are left with tens of thousands of pounds in loan debts when they finish their courses.

Official Government figures show the outstanding Student Loan book was £121billion as of March this year and is set to hit £450billion by 2050.

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