Fees vote a breach of trust - students urged to go Green

For immediate release 9 December 2010

Today's vote in the House of Commons in favour of a sharp increase in tuition fees represents a critical breach of trust by Lib Dem Ministers, Greens argued, and the Green MSPs today invited disaffected students to join the Greens and work to defend free education. Robin Harper and Patrick Harvie will pay membership subs for all students joining the Scottish Greens tomorrow.

Patrick Harvie MSP said:

"Today's vote to ramp up tuition fees at Westminster shames democracy, and the Liberal Democrats must now reconsider their position within this coalition. Their Ministers have abandoned their most prominent pledge to the public, and they are making future generations of students pay the price for an economic crisis they did not cause. This is an extraordinary breach of trust, and one that will not be forgiven.

"The protests today are not just about education, but are also a challenge to the Coalition's ideological assault on the poorest in society. They could have taken a different course, one which ensured that the richest paid their fair share and that closed the loopholes that let large companies avoid billions in tax. Instead they chose the traditional Tory approach, one that ramps up the debt imposed on students and builds an education system based on financial status not academic ability.

"Robin Harper and I will personally pay the first year's membership fees for any student joining the Scottish Greens this week. We will always work to defend free education in Scotland, and we would urge students to join us now and help us make that case during next year's election."