Keir Starmer under fire for claiming that he “wouldn’t’ve been able to attend university” after tuition fee U-turn

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Labour leader Keir Starmer has come under fire for comments claiming that he would not be able to attend university nowadays due to Labour U-turning on abolishing tuition fees.

The Labour leader said that his parents wouldn’t have had the spare money to send him to University in Leeds to do a law degree if he were to grow up under Rishi Sunak’s Tory government. 

He added that the cost of living crisis was “choking off young people and their aspirations for the future”. 

Starmer doubted if he and his family would have been able to afford the cost of living as a student, even with the job he worked at during his time at the University of Leeds.

Keir Starmer refused to properly clarify his position about tuition fees on BBC Newsbeat where he stated that there would be a “fairer system” for students’ tuition fees. 

Starmer instead decided to focus on discussing students’ struggles purely as a part of the cost-of-living crisis, focusing on this in an interview with ITV News.

Tuition fees in England are £9250, £9000 in Wales, £4530 in Northern Ireland and free at the point of use in Scotland for students although £1820 is covered by the Scottish government. 

English and Welsh tuition fees are some of the highest in the world. United States tuition fees for “community college” (publicly owned universities) comes out on average to around half of English tuition fees, which are typically paid with a loan provided by the Student Loans Company on behalf of SFE.

Starmer claimed on LBC with James O’Brien that the reason Labour are “unable” to abolish some of the world’s highest tuition fees like has been done in Scotland is due to the economic damage that Liz Truss has done to the economy. 

This is despite tuition being free or less than £1000 in many European countries, many of which have had similar cost of living increases in the last year. 

Germany, despite being heavily hit with cost of living increases due to the war in Ukraine, has continued to provide free tuition to its public universities since 2014. 

Featured Image Credit: Chris McAndrew – UK Government

Aidan Firth
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