By Joe Willetts – Online News Editor
Andrew Stephenson, MP for Pendle, recently met Students’ Union President Josie Linsel agreeing to support #CutTheCosts.
#CutTheCosts is an NUS campaign to dissuade the government from ditching maintenance grants. A move affecting over five hundred thousand students. In support of the campaign the SAC wrote to 20 MPs with UCLan students in their constituency. They requested to meet for further debate on issues affecting students and to convince them to voice their qualms on the Maintenance Grants cuts in parliament.
Mr Stephenson is the first MP agreeing to meet saying “I am happy to support your calls for a debate in parliament on the ‘Cut the Costs’ NUS Campaign. The campaign raises a number of issues important to students, which I feel are worthy of a debate in parliament.” NUS hopes will be replicated throughout the country prompting a national debate to overturn this measure. Other grievances were the cuts to tax credits affecting student parents and the increased living wage of £7.20 p/h that discriminates those under 25. This means most students will still receive the current minimum wage £6.70 p/h.
Josie says; “I am delighted that Andrew has supported the idea to have a debate regarding the Government budget which will discriminate against those under 25 just because of their age. The changes in tax credits will drastically affect many of our students with disabilities or caring responsibilities and scrapping maintenance grants just creates a larger debt for those who need the most help.” Rosina Gordon, an Accounting and Finance student, said; “Without these grants, it is going to be incredibly difficult for me to focus on my studies when I am going to be worried about feeding my child and disabled husband.”
To help support the University’s efforts get involved by contacting your MPs representing your hometown about the issue.