Harriet Harman

Labour Member of Parliament for Camberwell & Peckham

Over 6k Southwark students to lose out as Government axes maintenance grants for poorest students

Today MPs voted on whether or not to abolish maintenance grants of up to £3387 which go to the poorest students to make sure that students from low income households can go into further and higher education.

Now the Conservative Government have abolished these maintenance grants. Currently over 6,000 Southwark students depend on maintenance grants for financial support to help them get educational qualifications.

Speaking after voting against the abolition of maintenance grants today, Rt Hon Harriet Harman QC MP said:

“Im disappointed that 6230 (academic year 13/14) students from Southwark, and over 500,000 nationally, will be affected by the abolition of maintenance grants that this Conservative Government have just forced through.

Whilst interim leader in June 2015 I condemned abolition of maintenance grants in my budget response to the Chancellor of the Exchequer. Grants provide vital support for students in Camberwell and Peckham and ensure that poorer students do not leave university with greater debts than their more privileged peers. You can read my speech here.

The government should be doing all it can to ensure that those from the poorest backgrounds reach their full potential. This change would do the opposite, and could make poorer students think twice about going into higher education due to the considerable debts they will rack-up in the process.

Southwark students have every bit as much a right to go to university as students from better off backgrounds.  It’s important for the economy of this country that everyone is able to fulfil their full potential and are not held back from higher education by lack of funds.”

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