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Pressure from NUS over grants forces debate in parliament

Friday 15 January 2016 Campaigns News

Yesterday’s decision to quietly force through the scrapping of maintenance grants has been met with a fresh wave of public anger and forced the Tories to have the debate they didn’t want to have in parliament next Tuesday (19 January).

Yesterday (Thursday 14 January), the government quietly forced through legislation to scrap maintenance grants.

They did so by bypassing a full debate in parliament and instead holding a ‘Third Delegated Legislation Committee’ on the issue, in which just 18 MPs voted to decide the fate of over 500,000 of the poorest students in the nation for whom these grants are a lifeline.

The decision passed by a narrow margin of just ten Ayes to eight Noes.

The fight is not over – take action before Tuesday.

Since Thursday's vote, the government have faced mounting pressure from NUS and the public. There has been significant cross-party opposition to these proposals – as can be seen in the praying motion which included signatories from Labour, the SNP, the Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru, SDLP, Greens and the DUP – and today, the Labour Party have called for an opposition day debate – which will take place on Tuesday 19 January at 1.30pm.

NUS National President Megan Dunn has called for students to urgently reach out to their MPs ahead of the vote: "Owing to the efforts of SUs across the country over the past few months - and particularly after Thursday’s targeted lobbying as the government attempted to bypass MPs and undemocratically sneak the scrapping of grants through an obscure Commons committee – NUS have forced a debate on the issue of the scrapping of maintenance grants.

“This is the debate the Government didn’t want us to have. Please contact your MP now - we can still win this fight.”

You can take action now by contacting your local MP using the links below: