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Labor leader Sir Keir Sturmer said he is not sure he would have attended college had he faced the same level of tuition debt as young people studying today.
He claimed he could have postponed college altogether because he was “from a working-class background where it was hard to get a lot of loans.”
This comes after the Labor leader acknowledged that the party was likely to “move forward” on its promise to abolish tuition fees in the next election, despite a key promise during the leadership campaign. is.
Sir Kier commented in response to questions from listeners on the LBC phone. The question was whether it was fair that his son had £50,000 in student loans and faced a higher tax burden.
He said he “sympathized” with their concerns and knew it was a “difficult issue” but denied backing down on a promise to abolish tuition fees altogether.
“The damage this government has done to the economy has forced me to re-examine the costs of everything the next Labor government could or might want to do. And some “You have to make really hard choices,” he said.
“I think this system is unfair as it stands and needs to change. The question that must be asked is, if you are going to do it, what are you not going to do?”
He went on to defend the decision to make a U-turn on the pledge, arguing that it would be criticized for keeping the pledge at a time when Britain was “in debt like never before after World War II.”
Asked whether he would have attended college if tuition fees were similar to those of today’s students, Lord Keir replied, “I don’t know.”
He continued: “My father and mother hated debt. …that was the psychology of my house.”
Sir Keir graduated from the University of Leeds with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree in 1985, becoming the first member of his family to graduate from college. He then completed his postgraduate Bachelor of Civil Law (BCL) degree at St Edmund’s Hall, University of Oxford.
At the time he was in school, full-time students did not have to pay college tuition and were entitled to a means-tested maintenance subsidy.
In 1998, a maximum fee of £1,000 per annum was introduced in conjunction with a means-tested maintenance loan, increased to £3,000 in 2004 and £9,000 in 2010. It is now £9,250 a year.