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Published: Tue, October 03, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

UK PM May Targets Young Voters With Pledge To Freeze Tuition Fees

UK PM May Targets Young Voters With Pledge To Freeze Tuition Fees

University tuition fees are set to freeze and the repayment earnings threshold is set to rise to GBP25,000 (US$33,400) as part of a new Conservative scheme created to placate students angry at the hike in tuition fees seen under the Tory government. The upper limit on tuition fees was set to rise by £250 to £9,500 per year from the 2018/19 academic year.

Describing the plans as "desperate", shadow education secretary Angela Rayner said: "The fact Theresa May thinks she can win over young people by pledging to freeze tuition fees only weeks after increasing them to £9,250 shows just how out of touch she is".

The announcement comes in conjunction with reports that Theresa May is also planning to make it easier for young people to buy property by investing a further £10 billion in the "Help to Buy" scheme.

The changes were quickly derided by Labour as inadequate compared with its own pledge to scrap tuition fees entirely.

"They are yesterday's party", she said.

However, the biggest winners from a raised repayment threshold in the long run will be higher-earning graduates, with fewer having to repay the full amount of their loans before the debt is written off after 30 years. However, only the highest earning graduates, could possibly benefit. This change will apply to all students with a post-2012 loan in England.

"By doing this it seems the government has finally, belatedly, learned from the bloody nose young people gave it at the last election", Lewis wrote, accusing the government of "lying" to students by freezing the repayment threshold.

Students can also expect a freeze in tuition fees at GBP9,250 (US$12,300) a year in England and a complete review of student funding.

From April 2018, the repayment threshold will rise from its current level of £21,000 to £25,000, the Department for Education has confirmed.

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