Labour eyes cut to tuition fees as repayment rate continues to fall

THE LABOUR party is set to confirm a cut in tuition fees that could reduce what students pay by thousands of pounds.

Initial plans could see fees slashed by £3,000 a year to £6,000, with suggestions they could fall as low as £4,000 in the future.

Douglas Alexander, shadow foreign secretary, told the BBC’s Andrew Marr show: “I expect it is a policy that we will address in our manifesto and I hope that we’re able to offer a better solution.”

The comments come after the revelation this month that the government expects a larger share of the loans to never be paid back, up from 28 to 45 per cent. If it were to rise by another 3.6 points, the exchequer would lose more money than it gained when fees were hiked.

An extra £1.7bn per year would be needed to cover the money that universities would lose if fees were cut. Labour believes the cost would be offset by fewer unpaid debts, but the Tories said it would cost £800m.