Labour Campaign for Free Education: Model Motion

Below is a model motion that you can use at your CLP, branch, Labour Club, Young Labour group or trade union meeting. Leave a comment on the blog if you have got it passed!

Notes:

1) That the 2014 conference of the National Union of Students (NUS) passed policy for free education to be paid for by cracking down on tax evasion and avoidance, taxing the rich, and taking the wealth of the banks under democratic control.
2) Several affiliated trade unions, including UNISON, UNITE and GMB have policy opposing tuition fees and a means of funding higher education.
3) It emerged in March 2014 that the current system of tuition fees and student loans is likely to cost more than the policy it replaced.
4) In December 2013, Labour’s current shadow higher education minister Liam Byrne suggested that the party would support ‘a long-term shift to a graduate tax.’

Believes:

1) That education is, above all, a public good which benefits society and not just individual graduates.
2) That the introduction of tuition fees was designed to undermine universalism, turn education into a commodity, and precipitate the marketisation of the higher education sector.
3) Higher education should be free to access, and funded through general taxation – with the richest in our society paying the most.
4) That although a degree is likely to a lead to higher lifetime earnings, this can also be said about secondary and post-16 education, and many other services provided by the welfare state.
5) Wealthier graduates should simply contribute more in income tax without an additional blanket tax on all graduates regardless of income or situation.
6) That a “graduate tax” is therefore an unfair replacement for tuition fees which perpetuates the notion that education is primarily an individual benefit.
7) That Ed Miliband and the Labour Party should re-open the debate on higher education funding, and enter the 2015 General Election supporting the principle of free education paid for by taxing the rich.

Resolves:

1) To support the Labour Campaign for Free Education
2) To oppose all means of funding higher education through tuition fees or specific taxes on individual graduates.
3) To campaign within the Labour Party and affiliated trade unions for a policy of free education, paid for by taxing the rich.

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