How the Upcoming Election will Affect Students

Racepoint Global

One of the major talking points in the lead up to the General Election has been tuition fees. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has stated that, if elected, the party will scrap university tuition fees. This is contrary to Theresa May’s statement that claimed tuition fees would at the least remain at their current level, whilst also not promising that they wouldn’t rise in the future. This is likely to be a large swing factor for younger voters who are due to start a higher education course in the UK from September.

Train ticket prices have been on a steady rise over recent years, due to fee increases implemented by private rail companies. In a survey by the Independent, only 1 in 20 students studying in college or sixth form would like to go to university close to home. This means that the cost of taking the train to and from university is likely to be high for cash strapped students. Labour’s plan to nationalise rail could go some way to reducing the cost of trains, but a lack of competition in a privatised market from companies, like Virgin, may lead to a reduction in the quality of service.

Students are living through a time in the UK where energy prices are at an all-time high. Various firms such as Redbrick Bills, have been set up to help reduce the costs and hassle of rising energy prices and splitting these equally. A strong stance from both major parties has highlighted the need to reduce energy prices for consumers across the UK. The Conservative Party have promised to place a cap on energy prices that could affect 17 million UK households, saving them up to £100 a year. However, industry experts are sceptical as to whether the policy will prevent energy companies getting around the policy with alternative tariffs to keep bills at the same level. Whilst the Labour Party have said they would move to nationalise the energy market and introduce a cap of £1000 per year on energy bills, the lack of market competition and quality could again be a cause for concern.

Immigration may be one of the largest issues in the election with the Government starting formal exit negotiations with the EU. The recent referendum result has already seen international student numbers drop by 30,000. The Conservative Party have listed out their policy to bring net immigration to below 100,000. The Labour Party has taken a different stance, stating in their manifesto, “we welcome international students who benefit and strengthen our education sector. They now generate more than £25 billion for the British economy and provide a significant boost to regional jobs and local businesses.”

Students leaving university will see the national minimum wage increase under either a Conservative or Labour Government. The Conservatives plan to increase the national living wage to £8.75 by 2020. Under plans proposed by Labour it would rise to £10 per hour in that time. Labour has pledged to increase corporation taxes in order to help pump billions into the economy over the next ten years with the hope of creating over one million jobs.