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Confused on fees.

SIR - Writing about tuition fees on his new Rhondda blog on July 6, Labour Assembly Member Leighton Andrews said that 'Eighty-five per cent of full-time Rhondda students study at Welsh institutions, so they will benefit from what is being proposed in respect of fees. Over half currently get the full public contribution to tuition fees, and 19% get partial contributions.'

This seems to be in stark contrast to his comments during the debate on top-up fees which saw his New Labour Government forced to capitulate under opposition pressure. Then an almost apoplectic Mr Andrews claimed that it was 'a bung for the better-off, a bribe for the better-off and a backhander for the better-off' because students from richer families would also benefit from having to pay top-up fees.

He went on to say that 'They care nothing for improving participation in the communities that I and my colleagues represent. They come here today to defend class politics - middle class politics.'

So having berated opposition members for daring to flex their muscles, his hypocrisy seemingly knows no bounds as he then claims that 'Welsh Labour was elected in the 2003 Assembly elections on a pledge not to introduce top-up fees in Wales before 2007. We have kept that pledge and gone beyond it.'

Mr Andrews seems to be a mite confused to put it politely.

KAREN ROBERTS

Chair RCT Liberal Democrats, Wern Street, Clydach Vale
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jul 9, 2005
Words:234
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