Tuesday, 21 January 2020 07:17


The SNP has called on Tory leadership candidates to come forward with a “clear and concrete statement on tuition fees”, after Michelle Ballantyne claimed she was working on an alternative to free university education.

Launching her campaign to become the next Tory leader in Holyrood, Ballantyne hinted to journalists that she would end the SNP’s policy of free education in Scotland – with students in England burdened with an average debt of over £50,000 thanks to tuition fees.
Last year it was reported that Tory MSPs were split on the issue, with a group of parliamentarians calling for a historic U-turn on the party’s policy to charge students thousands in fees.   
Michelle Ballantyne has previously suggested she would back NHS privatisation, that “people on benefits cannot have as many children as they like” and claimed “there’s no such thing as a bedroom tax”.
Commenting, former teacher Jenny Gilruth MSP said:
“Education must always be a right not a privilege to those who can afford it. The SNP is the only party that has not just promised free higher education, but delivered it.
“Under the SNP’s watch, record numbers of Scots are being accepted to study at university with the number of students from our most deprived communities at historic levels too.
“Michelle Ballantyne and Jackson Carlaw are playing to the gallery – trying to outdo one another in a bid to prove their right wing credentials to their boss in Westminster, Boris Johnson.   
“It’s quite simple – the alternative to free education is toxic tuition fees. But voters in Scotland won’t stand for this while students in England are inflicted with eye watering levels of debt under the Tory government’s watch.
“It’s time for each of the would-be Tory leaders to come clean – offering voters a clear and concrete statement on tuition fees.”

Notes: https://twitter.com/STVColin/status/1219214795339116544?s=20

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