Brighton MP Caroline Lucas (left) and councillors joined students on march against cuts in Hove.
Brighton’s Green politicians were out on the city streets today (Tuesday 30 November) for a demonstration organised by local students in opposition to the Government’s proposed cuts to education funding.
Caroline Lucas, MP for Brighton Pavilion, said: “Our students are likely to be amongst those hardest hit by the ConDem cuts, with the Educational Maintenance Allowance being scrapped, college funding slashed and the huge hikes in university fees.
“Many people will be priced out of going to university – and those who do go will be saddled with huge debt. This is unacceptable for a society which values social mobility and inclusiveness.
“A more progressive approach would be to levy a business education tax on the top 4% of UK companies (bringing the UK’s total main rate corporation tax up to the EU average), which would generate enough annually to abolish tuition fees and take our public investment in higher education up to the average in other comparable countries.”
She continued: “As MP for Brighton Pavilion, I am determined to work hard to protect students and staff at our universities from creeping privatisation and devastating cuts.
“As well as marching alongside students on Tuesday, I’ll be pressing ministers in Parliament this week on the scrapping of the EMA, the extortionate fee rises – and the controversial ‘kettling’ technique used by the police against young protesters.”
Bill Randall, Convenor of the Green Group on Brighton and Hove City Council, added:”I have grandchildren in Brighton and Hove who hope to go university.
“However, they and their parents, like many others in the city, are concerned about the huge increases in tuition fees, the burden of debt that is heaped on many students – and the other rising costs of a university education.
“The ConDem coalition, for instance, is doing nothing about the steep rent rises faced by students who will also have to pay an extra 2.5 per cent on VAT on many goods and services from 1 January.
“All of this is will lead to educational exclusion and prevent children from families with modest incomes from going to university. ”
Caroline visited students camping in lecture halls at Falmer in protest at government policy on Monday night.
For more information please contact the Brighton and Hove Green party office on 01273 766 670.