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4% tax on the wealthiest businesses could end tuition fees.

Jillian Creasy

Councillor Jillian Creasy speaking outside Sheffield University at the March Against the Cuts, Saturday 23rd October 2010

Dear Sir

I agree with Paul Blomfield MP (Telegraph 25th November) that the increase
in tuition fees is about more than putting young people into debt. It will
introduce a free market ethos to university education. Ironically some
institutions and courses will lose out, ultimately reducing choice. However,
Mr Blomfield fails to acknowledge that the Labour Party introduced tuition
fees in 1998 and commissioned the recent Browne report recommending the
approach adopted by the Coalition government. Nor does he say what his party
would now do instead.

The Green Party believes that university education benefits the whole
country, not just individual students. Until 15 years ago, both Labour and
the Tories seemed to share this view, as demonstrated by the huge expansion
in university student numbers. But now all three big political parties want
students to bear the cost of their education rather than funding it out of
general taxation.

We put forward an election manifesto which showed how the national deficit
could be paid off without any cuts in public services, but by progressive
taxation, stopping tax evasion and not wasting money on warfare, including
Trident. We would create a million new jobs to build a more socially and
environmentally sustainable society which would support a genuinely healthy
economy. In particular, Caroline Lucas MP has pointed out that a 4% tax on
the wealthiest businesses would bring in enough to fund our universities so
that tuition fees could be phased out.

I joined the young people demonstrating against fee increases outside the
Town Hall on 24th November and attended the launch of the Sheffield
Anti-Cuts Campaign the same evening. The two issues are inextricably linked,
but what is required is an alternative vision, not just criticism of the
current government.

Cllr Jillian Creasy, Green Party

Paul Blomfield’s letter to the Sheffield Telegraph is here.

Topics: City Wide, Cuts, Jillian Creasy, Letters to the press, Youth