Grant cuts mean more debt for Scotland's poorest students


Scottish Liberal Democrats have today criticised the SNP government’s underhand switch from grants to loans after figures published today revealed the move has saddled some Scotland’s poorest students with higher levels of debt.

Official SAAS figures published today showed that changes to student funding brought in by SNP ministers meant that in one year the total paid in bursaries and grants was slashed by £35.7 million.

The total amount authorised in student loans increased to £429.6 million in 2013-14, from £3,110 per student to an average of £5,020 per student.

Scottish Liberal Democrat education spokesperson Liam McArthur said:

“The figures speak for themselves. In the space of one year the total paid in bursaries and grants was slashed by £35.7million, with an overall cut to spending on basic means-tested support for living costs of almost 40%. Student loans have increased from £3,110 per student to an average of £5,020 per student.

“This shows that the SNP government’s underhand switch from grants to loans has saddled some of Scotland’s poorest students with higher levels of debt.

“The SNP’s flagship manifesto pledge to ‘dump student debt’ is now sunk.  Efforts to widen access are also being undermined by the SNP’s retreat from grants and students from poorer backgrounds will rightly want to know why they are being expected to shoulder an ever larger share of overall debt.”

 

 


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