Labour pledge to cut tuition fees by £3000

Ed Miliband is expected to announce on Thursday that Labour will cut tuition fees by £3,000, if they're elected this year. This will bring the maximum amount home students will pay per year from £9,000 to £6,000. He will say that the funding for these cut in fees will come from a cut to pension tax relief for the wealthy.

This comes as a change of strategy for Miliband, who will also say that the elderly have become runaway victors in Britain’s intergenerational contest. Whereas Conservatives are firmly targeting the ageing voter (with Cameron this week announcing pensioner benefits such as the winter fuel allowances and TV licenses will not be means tested- thrilling stuff), Labour will focus this week on gaining younger voters.

Current support

A survey of Student Money Saver's users put Labour as the favourite party of students, closely followed by the Green Party.

Labour have been ahead of Tory voters in polls of younger voters, though the Green Party have been making big gains from former Lib Dem voters. Labour will hope to gain (a vocal) student support through lowering the fees, though this may not win back support from the Green Party, who are against tuition fees altogether.

Should students trust them?

After the Lib Dems publicly pledged to make tuition fee, before raising them to £9,000 when in office, they faced a huge backlash from student voters. 2010 saw a lot of student protesting, including clashes with the police. Students largely directed their anger towards the Lib Dems for the fee rise rather than their coalition partners, who had made no such promise.

Labour would be unwise to promise something they cannot deliver to students in light of this, and must carefully cost this out. The Lib Dems are currently bracing themselves for their worst election results in many years, polling behind UKIP, and Labour won't want to follow suit.

How much should fees be?

Students have been vocal about their opposition to high tuition fees. A recent survey found that 81% of students believe they're overpaying tuition and almost a third of students saying that their degree is not good value for money. Whether this will be reflected in how students vote in May is still unclear.

Students unable to vote

Up to a million students are unable to vote in the 2015 general elections. Following changes to how students are registered (where previously students living in halls of residences were put on the electoral role by their universities) around 970,000 students have been left unregistered to vote.

However there is still time to register, and you can do so quickly and online here:

https://www.gov.uk/register-to-vote

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