Young people – and the taxpayer – have been betrayed by one of the most expensive broken promises in history
Young people – and the taxpayer – have been betrayed by one of the most expensive broken promises in history – Miliband
Ed Miliband today (Friday) sets out the true cost of the Government’s disastrous tuition fees policy which has not only burdened graduates with debts unimaginable for previous generations – but the taxpayer with billions of pounds more in national debt.
In a speech in Leeds, he will warn that young people have been betrayed by this Government from their first days in school through declining training opportunities, the trebling of tuition fees, rising housing costs and even changes in voting registration which is denying them a voice in the coming election.
Ahead of unveiling Labour’s fourth election pledge, he will set out details of Labour’s Zero-Based Review into Higher Education funding which show that under the system introduced by this government:
- A total of £281 billion will have been added to the national debt by 2030.
- Students will graduate with an average of £44,000 of debt.
- National debt will grow by £16bn more by the end of the next parliament than the Government predicted only a year ago.
- Write-offs from student loans are set to jump to £21bn a year over the next three decades – almost double the total spent now on police services in England and Wales.
Mr Miliband will say this is the first time in almost a century when the next generation cannot expect to do better than the last – a huge issue not just for young people themselves but for their parents and grandparents too.
“This used to be a country where it was almost taken for granted that the next generation would do better than the last. This was the Promise of Britain. Now we are a country where it is almost taken for granted they will do worse.
“This is a promise unfulfilled: all that talent, ambition, hope for the future going to waste. Plans put to one side, dreams dashed; the Promise of Britain is being broken.
“Today I appeal to every parent and grandparent in Britain: we can turn this around for your children and your grandchildren. None of us want to see our kids treated like this.
“This is a disaster for them and a disaster for the future of Britain too – a country where the next generation is doing worse than their parents is the definition of a country in decline.”
He will say the Government is responsible for a betrayal of the young.
“What has happened over the last five years is more than just a betrayal of election promises, it is a betrayal of an entire generation: a betrayal from their first steps to the time when they stride into the world of work; a betrayal from nursery to school, from college to university, a betrayal to the jobs or homes they hope to have afterwards – and even on their ability to vote.”
He will criticise the Government for failing to act.
“All the young people of Britain have had from government during the last five years is blame, denial and broken promises.
“Young people out of work? Blame them for not making an effort.
“Apprenticeships for young people falling? Rebadge some training schemes for older workers and claim they’re going up.
“The cost of going to university? Promise one thing in an election and deliver exactly the opposite immediately after.
“Worried about being held to account by young people for all those broken promises? Change the rules and it is harder for them to vote.”
He will set out how the trebling of tuition fees has affected millions of young people
“We all know that under David Cameron and Nick Clegg the fee cap for full-time undergraduates was trebled to £9,000 per year.
“With most universities charging close to the maximum, graduates now leave university with more than £44,000 debt on average.
“My generation would never have imagined beginning our adult life with that amount of debt. But this government expects it of this generation.”
He will say this is not just burdening young people with debt but also the taxpayer.
“Today we are publishing our Zero Based Review into the current tuition fees system.
“Its findings are stark. It reveals beyond doubt that the scourge of debt is not just holding back young people, it is holding back our country.
“The Government has designed a system which is burdening students with debt today and set to weight down the taxpayer with more debt tomorrow. This is a system that will have added an extra £16 billion more than predicted to public debt by the end of the next Parliament. If left unchecked the system will have added £281 billion to debt by 2030.
“And much of this money will never be paid back. By the late 2040s student loan write-offs will be hitting £21 billion a year – almost double the entire cost of police services in England and Wales. It must go down as one of the most expensive broken promises in history.”
Ed Balls, the Shadow Chancellor, will say:
“This government’s system is not only bad for students it’s 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. This is simply not sustainable. We need a better plan which works for students, graduates and taxpayers as a whole.”