Stop Farry’s Tuition Fee Hike!
By Naomi Reading, Belfast Met Students’ Council (personal capacity)
Socialist Youth is calling for a major student demonstration in the autumn against Alliance Minister Stephen Farry’s threat to increase tuition fees to between £4,200 and £9,000 per year, as well as opposing all education cuts.
Unfortunately, getting a degree cannot guarantee a secure job anymore and increasing tuition fees will stop many from low and middle-income backgrounds from receiving a third-level education due to fears of being in debt for the rest of their lives – robbing young people of a future. One in five young people are not in employment, education or training. Raising tuition fees will worsen this crisis and have a knock-on effect in people’s lives; increasing poverty which may lead to or worsen mental health problems and addiction.
Stephen Farry believes that there is no option but to increase tuition fees, yet he supports a cut in corporation tax to 12.5% by April 2018 transferring £300 million per year directly from public services to the fat cats in big business. The Alliance Party front themselves as being the alternative to the likes of the DUP and Sinn Féin; however, they support the same right-wing austerity agenda.
We cannot rely on the politicians to defend our interests. We have to organise ourselves. In 2010, cross-community student protests prevented tuition fees from being increase then. We can do the same again!