Posts Tagged ‘tuition fees’

Okay, so by the narrowest of margins,the Coalition Government got its proposals through the House Of Commons. Lucky for Nick Clegg, who had a face like a wet kitten before the vote…

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Today, Thursday 9th December, the British Parliament are gathering to debate and vote on the first reading of a motion to increase university tuition fees on a stepped level, with £6000 and £9000 being the two caps. There are very violent protests concurrently taking place outside Westminster with students and riot police clashing amidst more accusations of police heavy-handedness. All of this is totally wrong, and a YES vote this evening will probably lead to massive scenes of violence and vandalism across the country.

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Prime Minister’s Questions today was an interesting affair. It started out slowly with the usual procedural question and one regarding UAV defence plans, easily knocked off the bat by David Cameron. It was when Ed Miliband came to the despatch box that things began to get a little interesting.

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On Tuesday 30th November, the House Of Commons had an Opposition Day debate on the tuition fees, with Labour tabling a motion requesting the Government to publish a white paper on its proposals and details of how it will affect the poorer students, which was voted down by 307 votes to 244. This is seen as a precursor to the main debate which is scheduled to take place on 20th December, although the voting figures on this can’t be used as a reliable indicator as many Lib Dem MPs voted no to this motion. The fact that this motion was voted down means that the Government will not need to publish any report on how their proposals will affect the entry levels of students planning to go to university. During the debate the Rt Hon Secretary of State for Business Vince Cable admitted that he has considered abstaining on the vote (on a policy which comes from his own department).

On Wednesday 1st December, during Prime Minister’s Questions, David Cameron gave an indication that he would consider a u-turn on Education Secretary Michael Gove’s School Sports Partnerships proposals – something which he admitted had caused concern at local levels.

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Today, The Guardian Newspaper revealed that before May’s General Election, the Liberal Democrats held secret meetings aimed at agreeing coalition terms in the likelihood of a hung parliament. During these meetings, the planned pledge on University tuition fees was discussed and it was acknowledged that the Lib Dem pledge to cut tuition fees would have to be scrapped. This article was leaked, marked confidential and dated 16th March. Despite this, Nick Clegg continued to campaign based on this pledge, as he knew it would gain the votes of many students, especially in his own constituency of Sheffield Hallam.

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