My speech at the launch of Labour’s general election pledge for the next generation – 27th February 2015

We must invest in the talents of the next generation if we are to build a stronger and fairer economy that delivers rising living standards for all.

 

That’s why this month Labour has been focused on education and young people:

 

–                 Capping class sizes for 5, 6 and 7 year olds

 

–                 Protecting the whole of the education budget from the early years through to school and college education

 

–                 Guaranteeing an apprenticeship to every 18 year old who gets the grades

 

And today backing our students and universities too.

 

As a constituency MP here in West Yorkshire, I know how worried school leavers and parents across Morley and Outwood continue to be about their kids starting their adult life burdened by so much debt if they choose to go to university.

 

And as Shadow Chancellor, I am equally worried about the debts the current system is racking up for future taxpayers.

 

Because as Ed has said, this government’s system is not only bad for students it’s truly bad for the public finances too.

 

Students are graduating with a bigger burden of debt and our Zero-Based Review has exposed how it is leading to higher national debt too.

 

David Cameron, George Osborne and Nick Clegg’s system will add £16 billion more to net debt by the end of the next Parliament than was expected and billions more after that.

 

As I said last month, this system isn’t working, it’s not sustainable and we need to fix it.

 

And that’s what we are determined to do with our better plan that we have set out today.

 

So Ed Miliband and I will cut the fees cap to £6,000 from September next year.

 

And we will raise the maximum maintenance grant by £400 a year too.

 

Our plan is fully costed and fully funded.

 

It means we can continue to back our world class universities, who won’t lose out from what we are announcing today.

 

Unlike the Tories we won’t make promises without saying where the money is coming from.

 

And unlike Nick Clegg and the Lib Dems we will not make promises we cannot keep.

 

We will pay for it in a fair way by limiting the tax breaks which go to the richest in society.

 

People earning over £150,000 will get the same rate of tax relief on their pension contributions as basic rate taxpayers.

 

And we will continue what this government has done in reducing the lifetime and annual allowances.

 

With our plan people will still get tax relief on pension contributions up to £30,000 a year and up to a pension pot of £1 million.

 

So our fully funded plan will cut the debt burden on students.

 

And it will reduce the national debt by £40 billion by 2030.

 

It’s the right thing to do – for students, graduates and taxpayers as a whole.

 

It will improve our public finances.

 

And it means that with Labour’s better plan, thousands of young people here in Leeds and West Yorkshire and across the country can get an apprenticeship or make the decision to go to university based on their talents, their hard work and their aspirations and knowing they will have a higher grant and less debt.

Posted November 9th, 2015 by admin