Plaid Cymru has challenged the Labour Government to hold a vote on a rise in tuition fees in Wales.
The Cabinet Secretary for Education Kirsty Williams, the sole Liberal Democrat AM in the National Assembly and the Labour Government, told the Senedd chamber in July that she intended to raise tuition fees in Wales.
Mid and West AM Simon Thomas, raised the issue in the Senedd chamber this week and called for the Labour administration to bring forward a debate and force Labour Assembly Members to vote on the matter.
Plaid Cymru AM Simon Thomas said:
“On the 11 July the Cabinet Secretary for Education made a statement in the Senedd Chamber saying that she intended to raise tuition fees in Wales and that was a signal that she’d persuaded the Labour Cabinet, of course, to adopt the Lib Dem policy on tuition fees.
“When will Assembly Members be discussing and voting upon the statutory instruments that will bring in the rise in tuition fees in Wales. I really look forward to see the Labour Government in Wales dragoon their backbench members to vote for a tuition fee rise here in Wales when, of course, they so successfully opposed it with the DUP’s support in the House of Commons earlier this month. Let’s see if we can replicate that victory here in Wales. Will Labour have the courage to bring a statutory instrument to this Chamber so that we can all vote upon it?”
“The proposal to raise tuition fees in Wales has been introduced by the Liberal Democrat member of the Labour Government whose party’s double dealing on tuition fees should be an embarrassment to Labour not a reason to follow their example of debt-increasing hikes in fees.”
Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Education Llŷr Gruffydd added:
“The only place where Labour is in power is here in Wales, but we are still waiting for a vote on the future of tuition fees here in Wales. Labour MPs from Wales in the House of Commons proclaim they are against any rise but they cannot influence the decision.
“Is it not time to give us the same opportunity in the National Assembly for Wales?
“Labour fought an election campaign in June on the promise of scrapping tuition fees, yet the Labour government in Wales is now hiking up these fees to eye-watering levels. Until Labour practices in government in Cardiff what it preaches in opposition at Westminster then why should we trust a word they say?
“Plaid Cymru wants to see university education made affordable for everyone. We won’t let Labour price young people out of education.”