Nick Clegg went into Coalition talks with Labour demanding "a commitment not to raise the cap on tuition fees". It means he changed his mind on the issue three times in as many weeks.
The Lib Dem leadership went into Coalition talks with Labour demanding “a commitment not to raise the cap on tuition fees”. The exclusive revelation in this week’s New Statesman means that the Deputy Prime Minister changed his mind on the issue three times in as many weeks.
“Nick Clegg and the other Lib Dem negotiators called for “a commitment not to raise the cap on tuition fees” (a watered-down version of their manifesto pledge to phase out tuition fees over six years), a cut in the number of government ministers, a four year fixed-term parliament and “a commitment to no public subsidy for nuclear power stations”. All of these pledges have since been broken by the government.”
It was revealed in Saturday’s Guardian that the Liberal Democrats were drawing up plans to “abandon Nick Clegg’s flagship policy to scrap university tuition fees” two months before the general election. But on April 13th, Nick Clegg recorded a YouTube video for the annual NUS conference in which said “I really think tuition fees are wrong”. Just a day later, the Lib Dem manifesto pledged to:
“Scrap unfair university tuition fees for all students taking their first degree, including those studying part-time, saving them over £10,000 each.”
It now appears that Nick Clegg changed his mind on the issue three times in as many weeks. The revelation will place further pressure on Nick Clegg after his decision to support a near trebling in the level of tuition fees from £3,290 per year to £9,000. The New Statesman also confirm that “the Lib Dems never had any intention of sticking to their election pledge to delay spending cuts until next year.”Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today.