- Fees hike would make higher education “preserve of the rich”
- Labour Alternative demand “free education, not handouts for the fat cats”
- Threat shows Alliance supports “right-wing austerity agenda”
“Unfortunately, a degree no longer guarantees a secure job with decent pay. With thousands of public sector jobs being wiped out by Stormont cuts, many graduates will face unemployment or poverty pay. Increasing tuition fees will freeze many from low and middle-income backgrounds out of third-level education, fearing becoming shackled to a mountain of debt. We cannot allow higher education to again become the preserve of the rich. The students’ movement must organise to fight back. That’s why I’m backing the protest.”
Already, around one in five young people are not in employment, education or training. An increase in tuition fees will only deepen this crisis and worsen all the social ills that go along with long-term unemployment and poverty, such as mental health problems and addiction. Stephen Farry says there is no option but to increase tuition fees, yet he supports a cut in corporation tax that will transfer around £300 million per year directly from public services to the profits of big business. We demand investment to provide free education, not handouts for the fat cats.