D-day for Tuition Fee debate

The controversial issue of raising tuition fees in England to £9,000 per year will be voted on in the House of Commons today after weeks of student protests and political debate.

Prime Minister David Cameron, who yesterday addressed the nation in attempt to quell public and political rebellion, has proposed that tuition fees for UK students triple from £3,290 to £9,000 a year.

The proposal has generated a great deal of anger from the public as it is felt that the Liberal Democrats have turned their back on their pledge they made during the general election to vote against fee increases.

Whilst Liberal Democrat Party Leader Nick Clegg is standing by the coalition’s decision, deputy leader Simon Hughes has voiced his disagreement with the tuition fee hikes claiming he will rebel against the coalition agreement:

“I have a duty to listen to my local party members and my supporters in my constituency, and they have asked me, on this occasion, to rebel against and break the coalition agreement,” he said.

In addition to the fee increase, further anger has been caused over the proposal that new fees will only apply to students in England. Welsh students will not have to pay the higher rate, even if they study at university in England.

Over 20,000 protesters are expected to descent on Westminster today and anarchist groups have threatened to ‘shut down’ the capital.

The debate is expected to begin the House of Commons today just after midday GMT. The duration of the debate may be no longer than five hours, after which MP’s must cast their votes.

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