Government Introduces New taxes on Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket School pupils and students

Monday, 1 December, 2003

David Ruffley MP today condemned Government plans announced in the Queen's Speech to introduce new charges on local residents. The Government is introducing a Higher Education Bill to impose university fees of up to £3,000 a year and a School Transport Bill to allow councils to charge all but the poorest families for school buses.

David said,'The Labour Government are introducing charges for services which are already funded from general taxation. Parents will face £3,000 a year bills to send their children to university and will have to pay to send their children on a school bus. These are taxes in all but name.

'University tuition fees are a tax on learning, leaving young people with huge debts when they start work. Conservatives have pledged to abolish tuition fees.

'Despite the fact that council taxes have gone through the roof, the Government now wants to increase the burden on hard-working families by making councils charge for school buses. It will discourage families from using public transport and increase school-run congestion. Rural areas will be the hardest hit. The extension in means-testing is also worrying.

'In the absence of real public service reform, Labour's only answer is to tax people even more. They approach every problem with an open wallet and an empty mind. That's why taxes have risen 60 times under Labour- but residents in Bury St Edmunds, Stowmarket and Needham Market still have little to show for all the extra money we are paying.'