Joe Cullinane

Scottish Labour Councillor for Kilwinning

Huge Increase in Local Student Debt

Joe has revealed the real cost to local students of the SNP cutting grants for students from the poorest backgrounds to increase student loans. 

New figures published by the Students Awards Agency Scotland have shown non-repayable grants have decreased by 35.5% in one year. However, the average student loan taken out increased by a staggering 61.4% to £5,020.  

Through a series of Freedom of Information requests Joe has revealed that in Cunninghame South the number of students who receive non-repayable bursaries and grants has reduced by 185 since 2010-11 and the amount awarded has been cut by a staggering £937,000. However, the amount handed out in student loans over the same period has increased by £3.2million. 

The total amount of student loan debt in Cunninghame South stood at just £4million in 2010 but this year it is set to be more than quadruple that figure as a result of the SNP’s decision. 

Speaking about the figures Joe said, 

“These figures are the latest confirmation that local students are paying a hefty price for the SNP’s decision to cut student bursaries and grants.” 

“These figures speak for themselves. 185 fewer students in Cunninghame South receiving non repayable student support and an almost £1million reduction in the bursaries and grants paid to local students whilst the amount paid out in student loans increased by over £3million.” 

“In 2010-11 student debt in Cunninghame South totalled £4million but by 2013-14 this had grown to £13.2million. In 2007 the SNP promised to abolish student debt but in 2014 it’s absolutely clear that this promise has been ditched and replaced with a fresh mountain of student debt with those from the poorest backgrounds worst off as a result of the SNP’s decision.”

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