Ed Miliband, the Leader of the Opposition, has pledged to cut tuition fees to £6,000 a year from the current cost of £9,000. The move, which would be introduced in 2016, would help reduce the debt faced by graduates once leaving university.
A Labour Party spokesman said:
“At the moment, people with incomes over £150,000 get tax relief on pension contributions at a rate of 45 per cent – more than twice that of basic rate taxpayers. This means that although they are only the top 1 per cent of taxpayers, they receive 7 per cent of all Pension Tax Relief. So we will make the system fairer by restricting Pension Tax Relief by £2.9 billion for those on the highest incomes.”
Vince Cable, the Business and Skills Secretary, criticised the move saying that:
“This tax on pensioners will not go to universities, it will go to the Treasury. And we know from past experience the Treasury will pocket the money and it will be used to reduce the deficit.”
Tuition fees were introduced by the Labour Government in 1998 requiring students to pay up to £1,000 a year by way of a loan which would only been repaid once they reached a certain income threshold. The fees were increased again by Labour in 2004 and then again under the coalition in 2010.