Top-up Fees Watch

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#21
Report 15 years ago
#21
(Original post by Girton)
A few short points:

1) You're wrong - I have heard Howard actually say that words "The Tories will always oppose Top-Up Fees"

2) They have no official policies as the party is undergoing reconstruction after IDS's departure

3) It doesn't matter how many times Scottish Tories have voted this "Parliament as the vast majority of it was taken up under IDS's rule NOT Howard's. Honestly!
No I'm afraid you are just being very naive. Argue the Tory postion ,that's fine but don't con yourself into thinking Howard gave that pledge - he was only describing 'top up fees' as contained in the Govt proposals.

What he actually said was this from the BBC's report of what you saw:

"But he refused to commit his party to sticking by its pledge under former leader Iain Duncan Smith - to scrap all fees."

"The truth is the universities have a funding problem," he said. "It has been estimated variously at a £10 or £11 billion shortfall, and neither the government nor ourselves have any proposals to deal with that problem.

"I have the gravest reservation about tuition fees but in due course, before the next election, we will come forward with our proposals and we will put them before the country in a manifesto."

In some ways that's a reasonable position for a new leader - he does not want to be tied by the previous leader's mistakes. But please don't misrepresent what is going on. Very few people believe that the Tories can retain a no fees policy. It simply is not credible given the funding issues.

On your other points - the Conservatives do have official policies. Some may be revised in time but they are still working to the policies they have. Bear in mind that Howard and virtually all the current Shadow Cabinet were also in the IDS Shadow Cabinet. They are not entirely new to all of this - they agreed the last policy!.

The Scottish stuff is a red herring. The Tory position is particularly odd as they are in Scotland at least 'The Conservative and Unionist Party' and that means they have a UK wide policy, manifesto etc.

The Government will almost certainly win the vote on fees helped by an estimated 30 Tory votes for or abstentions from those who see some value in the current proposals.
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Girton
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#22
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#22
(Original post by scanner)
No I'm afraid you are just being very naive. Argue the Tory postion ,that's fine but don't con yourself into thinking Howard gave that pledge - he was only describing 'top up fees' as contained in the Govt proposals.

What he actually said was this from the BBC's report of what you saw:

"But he refused to commit his party to sticking by its pledge under former leader Iain Duncan Smith - to scrap all fees."

"The truth is the universities have a funding problem," he said. "It has been estimated variously at a £10 or £11 billion shortfall, and neither the government nor ourselves have any proposals to deal with that problem.

"I have the gravest reservation about tuition fees but in due course, before the next election, we will come forward with our proposals and we will put them before the country in a manifesto."

In some ways that's a reasonable position for a new leader - he does not want to be tied by the previous leader's mistakes. But please don't misrepresent what is going on. Very few people believe that the Tories can retain a no fees policy. It simply is not credible given the funding issues.

On your other points - the Conservatives do have official policies. Some may be revised in time but they are still working to the policies they have. Bear in mind that Howard and virtually all the current Shadow Cabinet were also in the IDS Shadow Cabinet. They are not entirely new to all of this - they agreed the last policy!.

The Scottish stuff is a red herring. The Tory position is particularly odd as they are in Scotland at least 'The Conservative and Unionist Party' and that means they have a UK wide policy, manifesto etc.

The Government will almost certainly win the vote on fees helped by an estimated 30 Tory votes for or abstentions from those who see some value in the current proposals.

Very selective review of the interview this morning from the BBC website!
He has always maintained that top-up fees won't be introduced by a Conservatice Government saying: "It's a very bad policy" and "It's going to deter able young people from going to university, it's going to saddle them with debts." Even if you don't believe this, what is the point of me trying to prove his stance? Labour were anti- tuition fees and look what they're doing now! Scottish MPs have no right to vote on this bill (you should research the West Lothian question) and have no right to impose top-up fees on England and Wales but not Scotland.
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#23
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#23
(Original post by Girton)
Very selective review of the interview this morning from the BBC website!
He has always maintained that top-up fees won't be introduced by a Conservatice Government saying: "It's a very bad policy" and "It's going to deter able young people from going to university, it's going to saddle them with debts." Even if you don't believe this, what is the point of me trying to prove his stance? Labour were anti- tuition fees and look what they're doing now! Scottish MPs have no right to vote on this bill (you should research the West Lothian question) and have no right to impose top-up fees on England and Wales but not Scotland.
1. Re. Scotland - this is a side issue introduced by Howard as a ruse. Yes, I know a little bit about the W Lothian question and there are some unresolved issues post devolution but this issue affects people in Scotland - those who come to English universities not to mention the significant impact on Scottish universities. In fact the current proposals were based in part on a development from the Scottish system.

2. I certainly was not trying to misrepresent Howard's view. Neither he nor the Lib Dems have brought much to the debate. Most of the workable ideas about alternatives have come from Labour MPs - eg higher flat fees, endowments, bonds, grad tax etc. Flawed as the Govt's plans may be it has demonstrated the ideas vacuum in the opposition parties.
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#24
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#24
It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that Scottish MPs should be allowed to vote on this, simply because some Scottish students would have to pay the fees. Oxbridge and LSE in particular have high levels of overseas students (eg. from the Middle East or Africa) Perhaps we should open the debate up to the representatives of those regions in order to fully ensure that every prospective student is represented in this debate??? How about, instead, taking a logical stance - that only English and Welsh MPs shall ascertain if top-up fees are to be introduced in England and Wales!
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#25
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#25
(Original post by Girton)
It's utterly ridiculous to suggest that Scottish MPs should be allowed to vote on this, simply because some Scottish students would have to pay the fees. Oxbridge and LSE in particular have high levels of overseas students (eg. from the Middle East or Africa) Perhaps we should open the debate up to the representatives of those regions in order to fully ensure that every prospective student is represented in this debate??? How about, instead, taking a logical stance - that only English and Welsh MPs shall ascertain if top-up fees are to be introduced in England and Wales!
This is getting off the issue. As I said we have some constitutional inconsistencies but these apply to many topics not just fees. The overseas students stuff is entirely differenmt.

Howard has been a bit foolish to raise this issue in relation to fees - a sure sign he believes the Government will win this vote helped by several from his own side - must have given Blair much encouragement. He's just trying any ruse to keep the issue alive and affect the vote. Fair play to him - it's what oppositions are supposed to do but he's beginning to sound like he knows its lost.
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Girton
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#26
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#26
I love these little chats of ours, even if everyone else has abandoned us. Basically we have ideological differences and that's that!
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Girton
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#27
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#27
Scotland will receive £200 million through Britain adopting top-up fees.
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