Lib Dems pledge to bring back maintenance grants but won’t scrap tuition fees
The Liberal Democrats have released their manifesto for the upcoming general election, and it looks like there's a few policies that could be of interest to students!
Yesterday, Lib Dem leader Tim Farron launched his party's manifesto, outlining policies they'd put into effect if they win the general election on 8th June.
We were pleased to see a few policies in there that benefit young people, including discounted bus passes for 16-21 year olds, reintroducing housing benefit for under-21s, and reducing the national voting age from 18 to 16.
Lib Dems on Uni fees
Tuition fees are a bit of an... err, awkward subject for the Lib Dems, after they went back on their promise to vote against raising fees by supporting the Tories' decision to triple them back in 2012.
Therefore, it's maybe not so surprising that there's no word about abolishing tuition fees in their manifesto this time round - unlike Labour and the Greens, who have both pledged to scrap tuition fees entirely if they're elected.
However, the Lib Dems have promised to reintroduce maintenance grants for uni students from lower income households (which Labour have also said they'd do if elected). Last year, grants were scrapped by the Conservatives and replaced with higher loans.
The topic of financing Higher Education wasn't completely avoided, though, as they have suggested that the student finance system would be reassessed if they're voted in. They've pledged to:
consider any necessary reforms, in the light of the latest evidence of the impact of the existing financing system on access, participation and quality.
... whatever they mean by that!
Lib Dems on housing for young people
Back in March of this year, the Conservatives moved ahead with scrapping housing benefit for anyone under the age of 21, and the Lib Dems have also promised to bring this back if they're elected.
They've also proposed a new housing policy in the shape of a 'rent-to-buy' scheme that would allow renters to use monthly rent payments towards eventually owning a property. The 'rent-to-own' scheme would involve tenants paying rent like a mortgage, meaning they'd eventually own the property they're renting after 30 years.
Last year, the Lib Dems also proposed a Renter's Rights Bill that would see agency fees being scrapped for renters in England. This has since been added to the government's yearly budget, and should be put into effect this year!