Amatey Doku calls for 'actions, not words' from the Conservative party on the issue of student debt

Image credit: Amelia Oakley

NUS Vice President of Higher Education, Amatey Doku, responded to First Secretary of State and Conservative MP Damian Green's comments on the issue of university tuition fees yesterday, in his first public statement as vice president, calling on the Conservative party to start taking action to resolve the issue at hand. He said, 'we need actions and commitments, not words.'

Speaking to Bright Blue thinktank on Saturday, July 1st, Green conceded that student debt is a “huge issue”, which forms a part of a larger issue the Conservative party is facing — a failure to connect with younger voters. When probed about how he believes student debt can be reduced, Green called for national debate, given his belief that the only way to lower tuition fees while maintaining educational standards would be to raise taxes, a subject which requires discussion.

Doku issued a statement on the same day, in response to Green's comments: 'It’s clear that the government is licking its wounds after the election and finally waking up to the realisation that when young people vote, we are a force to be reckoned with. 

'While NUS welcomes plans for any political party to consider its policies and start listening to the needs of students and young people, we need actions and commitments, not words.'

The abolition of tuition fees formed a core of the June 8th general elections, as it was an attention-grabbing, controversial policy on the Labour manifesto.

The Labour party had pledged to abolish university tuition fees for EU students, starting from 2018, 'by raising tax on higher earners, making those with an income of more than £80,000 pay the 45p rate of tax and assigning a 50p rate to those bringing in more than £110,000 a year,' The Guardian reports.

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