Labour's Student Tax will be an additional barrier to accessing HE in Newcastle

Lib Dems warn Newcastle students about Labour's Student Tax




pic: Lib Dem leader Tim Farron raising concerns at Labour's Student Tax with NUSU president Dom Fearon at Newcastle University

Newcastle Lib Dems are warning that Labour's planned Student Tax is going to make Newcastle a less accessible place to study for poor students - we've got a petition up and running and want as many students as possible to sign.

Ouseburn Lib Dem campaigner Stephen Howse was recently joined by Lib Dem leader Tim Farron in Shieldfield, Newcastle as they met student residents of the many student halls in the ward to discuss concerns about the Labour council's call for halls of residence to be subject to business rates.

Newcastle University Student Union President Dominic Fearon has expressed concern about the plans. He was quoted in the Evening Chronicle last year challenging Labour council leader Nick Forbes on his proposal to extend business rates to student halls:

“If business rates are applied to halls of residence it will very likely result in students rent increasing considerably and making the local universities significantly less appealing to future students considering where to apply.

“This change will result, in effect, in students paying council tax in a different form but to the same ends. There is a reason students do not pay council tax – they do not have a significant income. Please consider where you are putting this burden and do not dissuade future students from coming to our city.”

Stephen Howse said "It doesn't take a PhD in rocket science to work out that Labour's business rates plan will not be borne by developers and landlords, but will be passed on to student tenants via rent increases, creating a significant extra burden on the cost of living for students. We are listening to Newcastle students and amplifying their voice on these concerns."
Stephen added "People might ask if the Liberal Democrats are really the right people to be raising this on behalf of students, given the trebling of tuition fees by the Coalition. However, what needs to be remembered is that fees are only paid once a student has graduated and is earning - and the Lib Dems in Government managed to raise the earnings threshold - whereas this Student Tax is going to hit people while they're at university and thus less able to cover the cost."
Students can take our survey and sign our petition here:

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