Lib Dems pledge to torpedo Labour's tuition fees policy in any future coalition

 
Guy Bentley
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Lib Dems could torpedo Labour's tuition fees policy (Source: Getty)

Ed Miliband fails to win an outright majority and finds himself in the position of forming a Labour-Lib Dem coalition, his latest pledge on tuition could be the first policy in jeopardy.

Lib Dem Climate Change Secretary Ed Davey said his party would block Labour's plans to cut tuition fees from £9,000 to £6,000 and labelled the policy "stupid". Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live on Sunday morning, Davey said:

We will stand up for making sure we can get the economy right, get the deficit down, and not wasting money on stupid policies like this latest Miliband policy

The announcement marks a stark turnaround from the party that promised to abolish tuition fees but ended tripling them. Davey argued Labour's policy would end up benefitting those students who went on to become bankers and hedge fund managers and would do little to help the least well-off.

Davey's claims were backed up by the influential Institute for Fiscal Studies, who concluded that "those graduates who go on to the best jobs will find that their repayments go down, whereas those graduates who go on to less good jobs will not find any difference in the repayments".

This week Ed Miliband announced the long-awaited policy in Leeds. Labour said the cut in fees would be funded by cutting tax relief pensioners. In addition to the cut in fees, Labour pledged to raise increase maintenance grants by £400 per year to cover students' living costs.

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