Student grant protest blocks bridge

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Protest in rliament SquarePicture copyright
Image caption Protestors gathered to coincide with a conformist debate on reversing the decision to scrap the grants

Students protesting against authority plans to scrap maintenance grants in England blocked Westminster Tie for more than an hour and a half.

The demonstrators gathered outside rliament to fall with a debate on reversing the government’s decision to replace the grants with loans.

From this autumn, means-tested presents are to be switched to loans re yable after graduation.

Labour has tabled an annulment movability to try to block the proposal.

‘Broken promise’

The grants, worth up to £3,387 per year for university apprentices from poorer families, are id to around 500,000 university disciples in England, according to the National Union of Students, which describes them as a lifeline.

ins says the proposal amounts to a “broken promise” and has attacked the way in which cabinet officers sought to implement the change without tabling a House of Commons signify ones opinion.

Shadow education minister Gordon Marsden said the government had as opposed to “shied away” from scrutiny of the issue by putting the plan to a council vote last week.

He warned the proposals would mean poorer swats graduating with more debt than their peers.

“When the administration tripled tuition fees in 2012 they tried to sweeten the pest by talking up the centrality of the maintenance grant to ensure that the most damaged could still access higher education.

“They promised three utensils: A national scholarship programme, the maintenance grants for the disadvantaged programme and an earnings-related entrance that would be up rated with inflation.”

Figure of speech caption Police managed to reopen the bridge after an hour and a half

He bring up all three promises had been broken since last year’s poll.

“The regulations that the Government ssed in committee last week ss on disadvantage the very same group of students that the government indicated to protect,” he said.

‘Unaffordable’

But universities minister Jo Johnson stray fromed the government had “sneaked in” the proposals.

“It was in fact included in the Chancellor’s summer budget idiom, which is one of the most closely scrutinised events in the rliamentary calendar,” he alleged.

Mr Johnson said the government had published a comprehensive 80- ge equity and likeness analysis in November, a day after the decision was finally taken to proceed as district of the spending review.

The government maintains the grants are unaffordable.

The new system make mean all student finance will have to be re id, once pupils have graduated and are earning at least £21,000 per year.

The De rtment for Affair Innovation and Skills says the change will mean more stay for students when they most need it, with students from the lowest-income households, looking outside London, able to borrow £8,200 per year, an increase of £766.

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