NUS welcomes the Liberal Democrat manifesto, but does it go far enough?

NUS welcomes the Liberal Democrat manifesto, but does it go far enough?

NUS welcomes the Liberal Democrat’s 2024 manifesto which contains several pledges which will undoubtedly help students and apprentices. But we believe the party’s promises are too vague and need further fleshing out. 

We welcome: 

  • Their pledge to bring down the voting age to 16  
  • Their pledge to abolish the apprentice minimum wage.  
  • Their recognition of the student mental crisis and promise to do more to address it. 
  • Their recognition of the value of international students and the need to take them out of the migration figures. 

 

Our concerns:

  • We are pleased to see them reiterate their pledge to reinstate grants for disadvantaged students, but believe all students should get the grant, with maintenance loans and tuition fees abolished for all, as shown to be cost effective by recent research by the Sutton Trust. 
  • On renters the party promises to protect the rights of social renters, but will they pick up the Renters Reform Bill - which was gutted and then dropped by the last government - and reinstate its protections for student renters? Most importantly, will they protect student renters from Section 21 evictions? 

   

NUS UK Vice President for Liberation and Equality, Nehaal Bajwa, said:   

“There is a lot to welcome here, and the Liberal Democrats have listened to us. However, the policies contained in the Liberal Democrat manifesto are a welcome first step, but for meaningful change, we must go further. We need free education, high quality affordable housing and commitments to the rights of international students.It is now for the other parties to respond to the challenge and offer students and young people something to vote for. Students are increasingly politicised and angry, and it would be foolish for any politician or political party to take us for granted on polling day."

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