News from Lynne
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 Governments proposals will place on poorer
students. Lynne Jones said:
If the OECD is interested in fairness they should address
the fact that the Governments proposals will saddle todays students with a
massive debt, whilst I, as a graduate, pay nothing after receiving a full maintenance
grant and having paid no tuition fees. Wouldnt 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 Governments 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
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.
E N D S
For more information on higher education funding, click here.