The Scottish Labour Party has announced that they will offer a new, progressive funding package for Scotland’s young people.
To deliver over £30 million of support to Scottish Universities.
This announcement followed the confirmation that Scottish Labour will continue to support free tuition. Tuition fees in Scotland were scrapped in 2000 under Donald Dewar's Labour led Scottish Executive. Free tuition was Scottish Labour policy at the 2003, 2007 and 2011 Scottish Parliament elections and it has been confirmed it will be a manifesto commitment in 2016 as well.
Speaking about the announcement Scottish Labour’s MSP candidate for Cunninghame South Joe Cullinane said,
“I have been campaigning on student debt for months and I am therefore delighted that Scottish Labour will reverse the SNP’s damaging cuts to HE bursaries.”
“Under the SNP student debt in Cunninghame South has grown from £4million in 2010-11 to £13.2million in 2013-14. That’s because they cut bursaries for the students from the poorest backgrounds by 35.5% whilst the average student loan increased by a staggering 61%.”
“Scottish Labour is now committed to reversing these cuts by increasing the Young Student Bursary from £1750 to £2792 which will once again start tackling the problem of student debt and poverty.”
“But for too long there has been little support for those young people who don’t go to College, University or do an apprenticeship. That will change with our Future Fund.”
“The average investment per HE students per year in terms of tuition fees is £1,600. So for those 18 and 19 year olds who leave school and go straight into the labour market Scottish Labour will invest up to £1,600 in furthering their skills to prepare them for work or setting up their own business.”
“These policies will of great benefit to young people in Cunninghame South as North Ayrshire continues to have one of the highest levels of youth unemployment in Scotland. It is a clear indication of Scottish Labour’s commitment to investing in the futures of our young people and is certainly the most progressive funding support on offer in Scotland."