Abolishing Tuition Fees is Wrong, But Wise for Corbyn and Labour

During an election where the Tories wanted talk of policy to be non-existent, and leadership to be scrutinised by the public, it was two policies that ultimately set the tone for the exit poll. One being the so called ‘Dementia Tax’, and the other being Labour’s pledge to abolish University tuition fees, something which was popular with younger voters. Tuition fees were actually introduced by Labour back in 1998 – although they had been on the cards for years, and were introduced a much lower cost than we see now. It was the coalition government of 2010 that tripled fees to 9k a year, and it was the Tory government of 2015 that decided to remove this cap, and scrap maintenance grants for students.

Corbyn’s Labour has had a distinct position on this since day 1; he wants to abolish tuition fees and has also mentioned before, although it’s not policy, that debt for current graduates could also be removed. And one thing it certainly did do, was enthuse younger voters. 16% more 18-25-year olds turned out compared to 2015, and one of the main reasons for this was because of policies they felt they could get behind, this arguably the main one.

There’s no doubt it’s popular, and that is why Labour and Corbyn continue to use it. But just because it’s popular, doesn’t mean it’s right, and it’s clear that abolishing tuition fees would not be a smart move. Firstly, it’s not a cheap pledge. According to Labour’s manifesto, the move would cost £11bn, and if Corbyn were to go ahead with removing debt for graduates, that is estimated to cost up to £100bn, a quite frightening amount. If both Labour and Corbyn are serious about reducing inequality in our society, there are many areas to focus on, and tuition fees are not one.

Let’s not forget also, going to University is a privilege, and should stay that way. Going to University means access to first class lecturers, specialist facilities, and world class resources. Going to university is solely benefitting the student, and is further improving their opportunities from the education they already have. Why shouldn’t students have to pay for this privilege? As highlighted by Hannah Putrus, if you commit to going to higher education, you’re making the conscious decision that the benefits of the degree outweigh the debt that comes with it.

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Here’s to 2015!

Another year is over and we’re now into 2016. 2015 was the year that the Conservative slime managed to worm an overall majority, the year of Corbyn, Cecil the Lion, Paris attacks, Syria air strikes and in recent weeks the effects of global warming are really hitting home. So overall the world had a rough 2015. But for me, 2015 is one I’ll actually look back at with fond memories, especially after what has been a very rough 3-4 years for me.

2012, 2013 and 2014 although they each had their own individual positives were overall not good years. Back in 2012 is when my battle with depression began and those were definitely rough years fighting the mental illness. Obviously depression is a never ending battle, one of which I battle with every day and will for the rest of my life. But I’m now in a position where the battle is an easier one, and the good days certainly now outnumber the bad ones.

There are many different reasons for this; mainly because I’m just in a more happy position in my life. Even this Christmas was a lot easier to handle. I spent the whole of 2015 in a relationship, and that relationship has now been going on for 14 months. I’m with someone who I completely and utterly love and who makes me the happiest I’ve ever been, despite the issue of distance. This year I also continued to lose weight and am now happy with my body. I have now lost a total of 50lbs over the last couple of years, gone from large shirts to small, 36 inch jeans to 30 inch, and have gone from a flabby stomach to a toned one. See picture…

weight

I’m also in a good place at University, with my dissertation going swimmingly well, and have a great set of friends that I can count on. Life has its struggles of course like everyone’s does but I really feel like I’m on the up, and 2016 has the potential to be the best yet. I will have (hopefully) graduated from University this year, keep winning the battle with my depression, and hopefully I’ll have made the move over to America.