Labour ditch free education promise

The SNP is the only party that can be trusted to protect free education in Scotland after Labour leader Johann Lamont, speaking at the Scottish Fabian Society conference, appeared to abandon Labour’s free education policy.

Joe Fitzpatrick, SNP MSP for Dundee City West, said Labour voters would be aghast that the party appeared to be abandoning progressive politics and again hitching themselves to Tories.

Labour claimed before last May’s Holyrood election that it would not reintroduce back-door tuition fees in Scottish universities, which the SNP Scottish Government scrapped in 2007.

Mr Fitzpatrick said:

“This is Johann Lamont’s Nick Clegg moment. Labour voters will be aghast that Johann Lamont appears to be ditching her party’s pre-election commitment to free education as the party abandon progressive politics and hitch themselves to the Tories.

“Labour are reverting to type on charging the young people of Scotland for their education. It was the Labour-Liberal coalition that introduced back-door tuition fees in Scotland – which were then abolished by the SNP – and Labour which brought in tuition fees south of the border.

“The SNP will never price Scottish young people out of an education.
We are the only Party never to have voted for tuition fees, and as Alex Salmond has promised, the rocks will melt with the sun before we do so.

“As the map produced by the European Students’ Union shows, the Scottish Government is one of only three countries to have delivered increased funding for the sector.

“The SNP Government is committed to maintaining free education, as well protecting places for Scottish students in Further and Higher Education.

“Johann Lamont needs to explain how this Tory policy fits in with her apparent left-wing credentials.”


1. Reports of Johann Lamont’s comments can be found here:

2. The European Students Union surveyed the views of students on the impact of the global financial crisis on investment in higher education institutions as part of their Bologna with Student Eyes 2012publication. The map shows Scotland is one of only three countries where students believe more investment has been made. It is available from