Lib Dems promise to scrap tuition fees
Money to meet promise would be raised by the abolition of Child Tax Fund and fewer tax credits for some
University tuition fees would be scrapped under the Liberal Democrats, the party promised today.
Nick Clegg, the party's leader, pledged to divert almost £7bn from other areas to enable the state to again fund degree courses for full and part-time students.
Only a student's first degree would be paid for, but the Lib Dems say this would still save a graduate more than £9,000 over the course of their lives.
Fees and grants for advanced apprenticeships and NVQ level 3 courses would also be scrapped.
To meet the promise, families with incomes above £27,000 would have their tax credits cut and the Child Trust Fund – a government-backed savings account for children – would be abolished.
Quangos that strive to improve the population's skills, such as the Learning and Skills Council and Train to Gain, would be closed down or have their budgets cut.
The rest of the funds would come from cutting 90% of the government's road and motorway building plans and saving on government advertising and IT projects.
The Liberal Democrats said the £6.6bn would stretch to funding free childcare for children between 18 months and five years old.
It would also pay for extra cash for schools in disadvantaged areas and class sizes of only 15 in primary schools.
Clegg said the promises showed how his party would "promote social mobility through the education system, the childcare system and through colleges and universities".
He said: "We can take the tough choices on Gordon Brown's wasteful public spending to redirect it to the kind of things people really need at a time of recession.
"We know that young people will be hit hardest by the recession