Election Manifestos – Take 5; the SNP

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates

Why does the SNP support a policy of reducing English university fees to £6k?  Solidarity, perhaps?  High principle, maybe?  Well, there's generous of you, if you think that.

More like it's the certainty of more cash flowing up the Barnet formula pipeline as the THE explained last week.

Reducing the fee level from £9k to £6k means more tax-payer cash going to English universities – about £2.7bn of it each year (assuming that all the shortfall is made up, which may well be optimistic).  Under Barnet, this means that ~£270m additional money would flow to Edinburgh for the Scottish government to spend on whatever it likes.  There is absolutely no guarantee that any of it would flow into higher education.

The THE piece ends:

Nick Hillman, director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, ... argued that the SNP’s decision should not overshadow the fact that the protection of free tuition in Scotland had been accompanied by student support being switched from grants to loans.  This meant that Scotland was the only part of the UK where the poorest students took on more debt than their richer peers, Mr Hillman said.

Now that's really progressive politics.

Posted in: Comment, News and Updates


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