Update (22/5/17): The Labour Party's key manifesto pledge to scrap university tuition fees will take immediate effect if the party is elected, Labour has announced.
Any student starting university this September would have their first year of fees written off, before tuition fees are scrapped for good in 2018, if Labour wins the general election on June 8.
"Students sitting their A Levels now won't pay in September," Corbyn wrote on Facebook. "So young people aren't saddled with debt, making university accessible."
Corbyn said the plan will save 400,000 students an average of around £27,000 and writing off students' fees who start this year won't encourage students to defer until fees have been totally abolished.
The party plans to pay for the abolition of uni fees by reversing Conservative Party cuts to corporation tax and increasing income tax paid by the wealthiest.
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Update (10/5/17): Jeremy Corbyn has hinted that if the Labour Party wins the election, university tuition fees will be abolished. The Labour leader says he has "some stuff in his pocket" in terms of higher education but ultimately refuses to reveal the contents of his party's manifesto until its launch next week.
Following the announcement of a National Education Service in the Labour Party's previous pledge pack which was unveiled back in March, Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell proposed to scrap tuition fees "once and for all" today in light of the impending general election.
A recording of a speech McDonnell made during a Labour meeting last week in Mansfield revealed the motion. He said:
“Free at the point of need throughout life. And that means ending the cuts in the schools at primary and secondary level. It means free childcare. It means free school training when you need it throughout life. And yes it means scrapping tuition fees once and for all so we don’t burden our kids with debt for the future.”
If announced as an official manifesto policy, tuition fees of up to £9,250 in England and Wales would be abolished with a Labour win.
Original article (20/3/17): With the continuous rise of university tuition fees, a general lack of enthusiasm from students for a university education and the cutting of university maintenance grants, it's hard to imagine a society where education, in all its forms, is free. But that's what Jeremy Corbyn wants to get us.
As announced in a new Labour pledge pack, Corbyn outlines plans for a National Education Service that would see free education "to all throughout their lives".
Along with nine other pledges for what Labour will campaign for and what a Labour government will do if elected at the next general election, a National Education Service would "bring about the progressive restoration of free education for all," and "guarantee quality apprenticeships and adult skills training."
In the 10 Pledges To Transform Britain manifesto, Corbyn explains that the Tory Government is "taking Britain backwards and failing to meet the challenges of our time". The pledges outline Labour's "plan" that "will rebuild our society." The full announcement of the National Education Service reads:
"We will build a new National Education Service, open to all throughout their lives. We will ensure there is universal childcare to give all children a good start in life, allowing greater sharing of caring responsibilities and removing barriers to women participating in the labour market.
"We will bring about the progressive restoration of free education for all; and guarantee quality apprenticeships and adult skills training."
A free, universal education service isn't the only tempting pledge in the announcement. Other potential policies that awaken any leftist's senses include security for renters via better tenant rights and rent controls, the creation of a million good quality jobs, stronger employment rights, an end to health service privatisation, investment in community-owned renewable energy, boosted wages for the poor, the closing of the gender pay gap and more.
It's rumoured that Theresa May will call a snap election soon. However, Downing Street has categorically denied that an early election will be called.
And yet, the Labour Party’s Andrew Gwynne has claimed that Labour is on a ‘war footing’, anticipating a snap election.
Whether the pledges will be enough to boost Corbyn's popularity remains to be seen. So far, members of Labour's Momentum are rumoured to be organising a "secret plan" against Corbyn and new polling figures suggest the Tories have a 19-point lead; another poll by YouGov suggests Corbyn is leading with 34% of the vote with the Conservatives on 33%. Meanwhile other members and supporters of the party plead for everyone to stop shitting on the leader, for fear that'll make things worse.