David Cameron backs top-up fees
Friday, November 03, 2006
Another interesting tidbit from David Cameron's visit to Cardiff yesterday:
Top-up fees are certainly there to stay in England, he said. But the Welsh Conservatives can do whatever they like.
The Tories had always opposed university fees. In fact, the only mention of top-up fess on their website seems to be in the 2005 general election manifesto, in which they promised to scrap them.
As Shadow Education Secretary, Cameron led the charge against fees in parliament. But he's now done a complete u-turn and is even not ruling out lifting the £3,000 cap when it comes up for review in 2009/10.
Cameron said the Tories can act as they wish in the Welsh Assembly, as long as it's "within a conservative framework".
Quite how a Conservative framework can simultanesouly be for and against top-up fees in principle is a mystery.
Just last year Nick Bourne, the Tory leader in the Assembly, said English Labour's support for fees meant Welsh labour was left in a fog of uncertainty.
It's suddenly looking a bit murky for Conservative education policy.
With top-up fees planned for England, it looks very likely Welsh Labour will go down the same route.
In the Assembly, the Welsh Conservatives have fought tooth and nail against university fees, but the impact of Blair's plans will undoubtedly have huge and dreadful repercussions.
If you want to guard against top-up fees, the message is clear: vote for a Conservative government in Westminster.
posted by Blamerbell @ 11:04 am,