Liberal Democrats left with Tuition Fee Conundrum


The Liberal Democrats could become the king-makers again in the coming weeks, when the vote over the proposals set out by Lord Browne enters Parliament in a few months time.

Part of the coalition deal was that the Liberal Democrat MP’s would be allowed to abstain from any vote on tuition fees, however, in the run up to the General Election in May, all 57 Liberal Democrat MP’s signed the NUS pledge to stand against any rise in fees, with Nick Clegg calling any rise “a disaster”.

NUS President Aaron Porter commented that “it would be a complete betrayal of the electorate to abandon this flagship promise.” However Vince Cable said in his Parliamentary speech earlier today that their opposition to graduate contributions was ”simply no longer feasible” in the current economic climate.

The coalition currently has a working majority of 83, so 42 Liberal Democrat MP’s could prevent the proposal passing through Parliament by voting no. This would be the first big blow to the coalition, and could have ramifications on the outcome of the Alternative Vote proposal that passes through Parliament soon after the Higher Education proposal.

Backbench Lib Dem MP Greg Mulholland gave warning that he and others from his party would vote against any rise in tuition fees; “there are many of us, certainly in the Liberal Democrats and I suspect probably across the House to some extent, who are very concerned about that and will oppose any attempt to raise fees in the way that has been leaked from the Browne report.”

Southampton students who want to join the proposed NUS demo on the 10th of November can register for free coach travel to and from London by clicking here.

A petition has been started, trying to convince the Liberal Democrat MPs to vote no in the Parliamentary vote. If you want to sign it, click here.


Afternoon! Welcome to my political world, reporting on all things studenty and politics-like. I do most of my writing whilst browsing the Internet when I should be doing other things, and I do love a good stat, so do expect links and numbers that are meaningless yet informative. Enjoy!

Discussion2 Comments

  1. avatar

    The Tory’s real manifesto is on the REFORM website and this site stated before the election, that tuition fees would be increased and market interest rates should be introduced. As Vince Cable is a contributor to the REFORM website, I would say he fully knew the Tory policy well in advance. As well as this the Tory real manifesto also states they want to scrap VAT exemptions, which includes education, so Vince Cable has known well before the election that not only will student fees be increased, but the interest rates on loans will increase and then on top of that the Tories with Vince Cable will add a further 20% to the fees (and the loan as loans will be liable for VAT too).

    This website proves the Libdems and the Tories were working together well before the election and that the Tories/Lib Dem manifesto on the REFORM web site is the one actually being implemented today.

    No one voted for reform.

    The scale of manipulation of an electorate is staggering. We are entitled to a general election, now that we can see the coalition had planned all these policies before the election but refused to present them to the public. This is a hidden politcal party which has taken power of this country by using the Tory and Lib Dem names, but hid their real policies to gain power. No one voted for REFORM. Let us vote again only this time at least we will know what we are voting for Labour V the Reform Party.

    Look at the reform website, the policy of scrapping universal child benefit was there before the election (in fact just about every policy implemented so far is on this REFORM manifesto). Did you vote for REFORM? Did you see them on a ballot box?

    Every time a coalition spokesperson talks, the word REFORM is constantly used. This is no co-incidence.

    The cuts are a smoke screen for restructuring our health service, our universities and our schools to allow American, Canadian and South African companies to take over the running of our vital institutions.

    We deserve a general election now we know we were duped. This is not about the economy this is about selling out Britain to the Tories international industrialist friends. Look at the REFORM website!

    It is stated on the REFORM website private companies can be partners with REFORM for a donation of £6000 which will get them access to ministers and policymakers and this will help these companies achieve their objectives.

    They are restructuring our Health service at the same time as American, Canadian and South African Health Management companies are donating to REFORM – they are restructuring OUR health service to help these overseas companies take over the running of our health service…and all for a donation of £6000.

    The are restructuring our schools and universities (is this to help the overseas Education Management companies that are donating to REFORM to achieve their objectives of taking over the running of our schools and universities.

    Look at the website and contact your MP. Tell everyone you know.

    We are entitled to a new general election. I for one will not be voting for REFORM

    • avatar
      Sasha Watson

      I dont actually believe it but there is a fair bit of substance to what you’ve written, which seemed sensationalist and radical on first reading I must say. Where does Vince come out in support of the site and contribute to it though? I can only see press releases about his time in the cabinet.

      Similarly with American health interests – where do you see what companies are investing in them? The £6000 thing does look very peculiar though.

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