Today’s Prime Minister’s Questions saw Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn attack Theresa May over the Tories’ plans to raise tuition fees once again, this time to £9500.
However, during Corbyn’s final question to the Prime Minister, Theresa May appeared to crack up laughing after the Labour leader slammed Tory policies that now mean students are graduating with record average debts of £57,000
Corbyn asked the PM:
Mr Speaker, the Institute for Fiscal Studies reports that English graduates have the highest student debts anywhere in the world. The poorest students are now graduating with average debts of £57,000. Who is responsible but her party and the Liberal Democrats for this situation.
[Theresa May and the Tory front bench cracks up laughing]
Mr Speaker, we are in the middle of an economic slowdown. The OBR says there is a growing risk of recession under her watch. Growth is slowing, productivity worsening, wages falling, jobs becoming more insecure, personal debt increasing, saving levels falling and homelessness rising all over the country. And it’s forecast that by the end of this parliament five million children in this country – the fifth richest country in the world – will be living in poverty. Isn’t it true that, not only is our economy already at breaking point, but for many people it’s already broken as they face up to the poverty imposed by this country?
Prime Minister May responded to Corbyn’s questions by saying:
Can I just say to the Right Honourable Gentleman, yet again he has failed to mention on student fees: who was it who introduced tuition fees?
Rather than respond with actual answers or rebuttals to Corbyn’s extremely pertinent points about the increasingly precarious economic situation the country now faces, Theresa May simply blames the Labour Party for introducing tuition fees in the first place – policies introduced under Tony Blair that Jeremy Corbyn has ALWAYS VOTED AGAINST!
To me it seems incredible that we now have a sitting Prime Minister who, rather than attempt to defend her own party’s policies, attempts to blame the opposition for introducing them at a much lower rate in the first place.
With outrageously hollow words, Theresa May seems to think she can con the public into believing that, seeing as Tony Blair’s New Labour began the debacle of tuition fees, the Tories (and the Lib Dems) somehow had no other choice but to more than treble these fees over the last 10 years. It is astounding that this is how she chooses to defend her increasingly indefensible position.
On one hand Theresa May is trying to blame the Labour party for *doing something bad* by introducing tuition fees, whilst on the other hand simultaneously planning to raise tuition fees yet again next year – this time to a whopping £9500. It is an astounding feat of moral gymnastics from the Prime Minister.
You can watch the exchange below:
In a previous question at today’s PMQs, Jeremy Corbyn urged the Prime Minister to vote against yet ‘another Tory hike in student fees” this afternoon.
This afternoon’s vote has been forced by Labour in a bid to prevent yet another rise in tuition fees under a Tory government.
However, Labour’s Shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner is hopeful of a Tory rebellion against the increasingly unpopular tuition fee policies, saying the Tories can’t ‘even trust their own MPs to back their latest hike in student fees’.
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