News from Lynne Jones MP

I issued the following press release on- Higher Education Funding on 20.01.04

MP REJECTS ARGUMENTS PUT FORWARD BY OECD

Labour backbencher, Lynne Jones MP has argued that there is nothing in the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) report which addresses the unfair burden that the Government’s proposals will place on poorer students.  Lynne Jones said:

“If the OECD is interested in fairness they should address the fact that the Government’s proposals will saddle today’s students with a massive debt, whilst I, as a graduate, pay nothing after receiving a full maintenance grant and having paid no tuition fees.  Wouldn’t it be ‘fairer’ for the higher rate earners to pay more tax – not the dustman or middle income people – but people like me and Tony Blair who earn over 50k a year?  Most of us who are in this bracket will be graduates and if not are likely to have children or grandchildren who will aspire to be.”

On the issue of the Government’s 50% target of young people going to University the MP said “at the moment we have 78% of people from socio-economic group 1 going into higher education and only 14% from the lowest socio economic group - I want a target of 50% for that group and these proposals will not achieve that – nor will they bring in enough money to solve the universities funding crisis.”

On the earnings benefit of having a degree, the MP stated “The value of university education is not about how much you earn – nonetheless, the Government should take into account research from the Joseph Rowntree Foundation which states that “There is evidence that qualifications are reducing in value.  The later earnings bonus of gaining a degree is decreasing, thus challenging the assumptions underlying the current loan system.”

The MP went on: “The OECD report does not address the problems created by variable fees and the market place this introduces.  The concessions made by the Government do not tackle this issue of principle.”

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For more information on higher education funding, click here.

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