Peter Black: 'Are you with me chaps?'

There follows a public information request for Peter Black.

At the Lib Dem conference later today, he will 'throw down the gauntlet to other parties on top-up fees for higher education.'

He will 'challenge the other parties to say where they stand.'

Unless I've missed something very obvious, Plaid and the Tories have positioned themselves pretty firmly in the anti top-up fee camp. If a Mrs Jane Davidson is reading, please would you make yourself known to a steward so that we can clear this matter up for Mr Black. Thank you.

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posted by Blamerbell @ 10:23 am,

4 Comments:

At 3:09 pm, Blogger bethan said...

I don't understand what Peter Black is doing with challenging other parties on this issue. Plaid are most definitely against top-up fees and campaigned as such in the run up to the Assembly vote in 2005.
New Labour Wales are the party that should be pushed on this as they will most definitely try and push top-up fees through when the current policy comes up for review- which should be this year sometime...

But given that Cameron now supports top-up fees, will the Tories in Wales revist their policy?

 
At 4:43 pm, Blogger Peter Black said...

Ciaran, if you had taken up your accreditation and come to the Conference or even read the press release all the way you would know that my challenge to the other parties is to say how they will react to the lifting of the cap on top-up fees in 2009. Will Plaid, Tories and Labour continue to subsidise welsh students or will they give up and allow top-up fees in Wales?

 
At 6:59 pm, Blogger Blamerbell said...

Peter, I'd hate to misrepresent you. The press release said only this:

"My commitment has always been to education free at the point of access. It is an investment in our future, we should not erect barriers to participation nor should we penalise those who wish to better themselves.

"I believe in society. I believe it is the duty of the state to fund education opportunity for the good of us all.

"I challenge the other parties to say where they stand."

No mention of 2009 or lifting caps.

As for your other point, I'd love to be at the conference (there's an admission that'll do nothing for my street cred). I'm currently buying my first car; without one, certain party conferences are a nightmare to reach...

 
At 12:09 am, Blogger Peter Black said...

I havent seen the press release, so if it says that then it has changed the context of my comments. The speech said:

"The settlement that we have reached in Wales is going to be difficult to sustain. The Government is due to review the cap on tuition fees in 2009 and the odds are that they will lift it. The unknown is whether they will retain the principle of no up-front fees. If they do then there will be an increase in the fees remission grant and more money will come to Wales under the Barnett formula. At this point we may well have the extra resources to continue to pay the top-up fees for Welsh students in Welsh universities.

It is an uncertain future and one that is difficult to plan for. That is why other parties’ manifestos in May’s Assembly elections will be largely silent on this issue. However, that will not be the case with the Welsh Liberal Democrats. It is our intention to guarantee at least the present financial support to Welsh students up to 2011.

Let me repeat that.

We will guarantee at least the present financial support to Welsh students up to 2011.

No ifs, no buts. A guarantee, for the lifetime of the next Assembly.

We have a clear position. A clear message to the young people of Wales, and the parents who end up picking up the tab in many cases.

I challenge the other parties to say where they stand."

 

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