- Posted by: Valerie Vaz MP
- Category: News
HM Opposition Labour Party held a debate on the Government proposals to scrap maintenance grants. This was another attempt by The Government to sneak through important sweeping changes thorough the parliamentary procedure of a statutory instrument in order to avoid sufficient parliamentary scrutiny. There was also a vote to annul the Government’s plans to scrap maintenance grants for students.
Maintenance grants are non-repayable grants of up to £3,387 for the poorest university students. They help many students with costs such as rent, food, energy bills and study materials.
Scrapping maintenance grants in favour of loans is deliberately targeting students from the lowest income families who are working hard and doing the right thing to better their lot in life. An estimated 500,000 students will leave university with substantially higher debts than their better-off peers. There was no mention of these proposals in the Conservatives’ election manifesto and it is disabled, ethnic minority and older students who will primarily be affected by these changes.
I voted for the motion “that this House calls upon the Government to abandon its policy on replacing maintenance grants with loans for lower income students”.
The results were Ayes 292: Noes 306. Unfortunately the motion was defeated and the statutory instrument was passed.