9 July 2015
The Green Party has today announced plans to campaign furiously against the announcement in the Budget that Student Maintenance Grants are to be cut and turned into loans.
Natalie Bennett, leader of the Green Party, said:
“This decision is going to add to the stress and worry of both students and their families about taking on the debt burden required to get an education, particularly those from lower-income backgrounds.
“Further, on the broader economic scale, it is going to add to the massive rise in private and unsecured debt that is increasingly replacing public spending, which threatens Britain's long-term economic stability.”
Dave Cocozza, Green Party spokesperson for higher and further education, said:
“These proposals are incredibly damaging to ensuring diversity in higher education, potentially causing those from less wealthy families to have even more of a reason to leave education at 18, not to mention giving mature students and adult learners even more of a reason not to return to learning.
“As someone who relied on the grant to get through university, I am incredibly disheartened at these plans and intend to campaign furiously against them alongside other leading student campaigners and voices in parliament.
“Converting grants into loans and pushing students even further into debt is not the solution - we need a diverse higher education system, providing a diverse educated workforce, to grow a diverse economy. Taking that chance away from working-class people like me is a disgrace and only furthers the thought that this government is hell-bent on marginalising the most disadvantaged in our society.”
The Green Party will be launching its #KeepTheGrants campaign to fight on this issue.