Daniel Zeichner MP has reacted angrily to the Government decision to slash maintenance grants for the poorest and most disadvantaged students without a vote in Parliament.
The MP has protested to Sajid Javid, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, in the strongest terms calling the move “democratically unviable” and a “transparent attempt by the Government to circumnavigate Parliament”.
The change to the maintenance grant rules will be pushed through a legislative committee meaning that MPs will not have the opportunity to debate or vote on the changes.
5,697 students at Anglia Ruskin University and 2,720 at the at University of Cambridge currently receive maintenance grants according to figures from the HEFCI.
Changing maintenance grants to loans will mean students from low-income families now face leaving university with close to £60,000 in debt.
Daniel Zeichner, MP for Cambridge, said: “I’m angry. This is not just a technical change to the law but a serious shift directly affecting thousands of individuals from the most disadvantaged backgrounds.”
“I fear the Conservatives are trying to hide this move from scrutiny by sneaking it in through the back door.
“This is just the latest of the Government’s attack on students. They are scrapping bursaries to student nurses and tearing up of student university loan contracts by lowering of the threshold with which students have to pay back loans.”