Labour plans to slash tuition fees by up to £5,000

Labour leader Ed Miliband

Ed Miliband may even pave the way for their abolition

LAST UPDATED AT 08:15 ON Sun 30 Mar 2014

A Labour government would slash university tuition fees by up to £5,000 a year and may pave the way for them to be abolished altogether.

In a bid to woo middle England, Ed Miliband is expected to vow he will cut the controversial £9,000 maximum fee to £6,000. However, he is considering a more far-reaching overhaul of the system that would see maximum fees fall to £4,000.

It is also believed that Miliband could pave the way for tuition fees to be scrapped in the future and replaced with a tax on graduates, which supporters see as a fair way of stopping students running up devastating debts.

The proposals are central to the Labour leader’s strategy to focus on the cost of living. He hopes the proposals will charm middle class voters.

With David Cameron reforming pensions and hinting at inheritance tax changes, Labour feel they need to offer their own eye-catching promises to middle England voters.

Opinion polls in this morning’s papers offer contrasting views of Labour’s position. A YouGov poll for the Sunday Times says Labour have shrugged off the Tory’s post-budget bounce by opening a seven point lead.

But a poll for The Observer says support for Labour has fallen to its lowest level since 2010, with the party just one point ahead of the Conservatives.

University tuition fees have proved a bitterly controversial battleground in recent years. The £9,000 maximum fee sparked riots when it was debated in 2010. · 

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