Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg defends party’s stance on tuition fees

PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 March 2011

Nick Clegg visits St Albans, photo by Gary Shore

Nick Clegg visits St Albans, photo by Gary Shore

THE spectre of tuition fees is not something which concerns Lib Dem leader Nick Clegg, he has revealed.

Speaking exclusively to Herts Advertiser editor Matt Adams following a talk to St Albans Liberal Democrats last Thursday, the Deputy Prime Minister said he credited voters with finding out for themselves what the new repayment scheme would mean for students.

His party has been dogged by controversy since breaking a pre-election flagship policy to scrap university tuition fees in favour of plans to lift the cap on annual fees to £9,000.

But Mr Clegg said: “I think the people who are prepared to look at what we’re actually doing rather than what we’re alleged to be doing might be quite surprised.

“Some of the scaremongering from Labour and our opponents has been completely outrageous. The fact is, and here are a couple of facts that may surprise people, every single graduate will pay out less per month in the repayment system that we’re introducing than they do under the Labour system.

“The majority of graduates will never have to pay off the full value of their loan because they’ll only have to pay it back when they’re earning much, much more money after they’ve left university. Every single part-time student, who under Labour was paying punitive up-front fees, will not have to pay fees. We obviously have a job as a government because of all the controversy to explain to people what it means, and separate the facts from the fiction.”

* More from the Herts Advertiser’s exclusive interview with the Deputy Prime Minister to follow over the next few days. And read our full report on Nick Clegg’s visit to St Albans in the Herts Advertiser on March 10.

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