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Tuition fee deja vu?

On hearing the latest Labour pledge to end tuition fees I couldn’t help thinking both “What perfect timing, but also haven’t we been here before?” Guardian http://bit.ly/2pbN2D5

The effect of invoking this particular ‘vote catcher’ can be a double-edged sword: Nick Clegg’s 2012 confession pops into mind.  Not raising fees was “a promise we were not absolutely sure we could deliver… and ‘the pledge of abolishing tuition fees overnight was not affordable’ (He felt it would take two parliaments). The subsequent negative effect on his popularity would be hard to understate. Could this be Labour’s debacle?

Equally, despite all the Labour proclamations of helping the poor, and the young, self-interest cannot be ruled out – ‘… an incentive for the young to register to vote?’ ITV News  http://bit.ly/2rSAult

The Tories said more poorer students than ever were (already) going to university. (UCAS states that in 2015 application rates for 18-year-olds living in disadvantaged areas in all countries of the UK actually “increased to the highest levels recorded.”) UCAS http://bit.ly/2s3406G

The Lib Dems said better-off students would gain most from ending fees (as has been evidenced in Scotland) Guardian http://bit.ly/2raL0ld

Call me cynical if you wish, but the more politicians evoke change, the more things stay the same. (Except the number of voters).

Dr.Kim McGuire, Senior Lecturer in Law, (and previously researcher and lecturer in Politics and Social History.) kmcguire3@uclan.ac.uk

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