Tuition options

Scottish Labour leader Jim Murphy has done well in recent weeks with initiatives on issues such as fracking, the health service and early education.

His announcement that he would keep free student tuition (your report, 3 March) is therefore somewhat disappointing.

It has to be said that the accusation that the announcement is “hypocritical” is a bit rich coming from a party which chooses to hand out £9,000 a year to parents of students from wealthy backgrounds while at the same time cutting the bursary for poorer students from £2,450 to £1,750. So much for the SNP version of a fairer society!

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

Sign up to our Opinion newsletter

This looks to me suspiciously like taking from the poor to give to the rich.

Is it any surprise that the number of students enrolling from the most deprived backgrounds is going down, not up?

The SNP policies on these issues are less about social justice than securing the votes of middle-class voters.

Jim Murphy sees education as a key to social mobility.

I would, therefore, like to have seen him grasp the nettle and show that the Scottish Labour Party really does stand for a fairer society.

Reintroduce tuition fees 
for all.

Use some or all of the funds generated on a means-tested basis to give grants where appropriate to meet some or all of the fees as well as living allowances on a sliding scale to those from less privileged backgrounds.

Would a system along these lines not be fairer?

Moreover, it would be interesting to see the impact of such proposals on the voting intentions of Scottish tax payers who currently fund free tuition not only for the better off in this country but also for the growing numbers of students from all over the EU (your report, 23 February) who currently take more than 18,000 places from Scottish students.

Colin Hamilton

Braid Hills Avenue