Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Labour's shameful confession over tuition fees

A confession that Labour would have increased tuition fees significantly if it had won the 2010 General Election has emerged from a former Cabinet minister.

The revelation from Peter Mandelson in the forward to the paperback edition of his book The Third Man: Life at the Heart of New Labour, comes as no surprise to Cambridge Lib Dem MP, Julian Huppert who voted against an increase.

He said: “I have never been in any doubt that Labour would have increased fees if they had won the election; that was why they set up the Browne Review. It has been easy for them to sit back and pretend that it would never have happened; but now we have the truth in black and white.

“Labour were responsible for introducing tuition fees in the late 1990s; the Labour MP, Anne Campbell voted for them despite promising 'No fees here'.

“She then lost her seat partly for failing to vote against a tripling of fees a few years later. In contrast, I voted against a fee increase when I had the chance. Now we know Labour intended to raise fees again."

In the forward to his book, Lord Mandelson, former Business Secretary says: “When I [set up the Browne review] in November 2009 I assumed, as the Treasury did, that the outcome would have to include a significant increase in tuition fees.”
Julian added: “Lord Mandelson has made it quite clear that under Labour students would have faced an increase in fees. The party knew that after 13 years in government, it had left the country facing financial ruin. It would have increased fees to try to dig its way out of the hole it created.

“I'm glad Lord Mandelson is at last coming clean on this shameful truth; it's a shame he didn't do so earlier.”