March 1st, 2018

Liberals must act to reduce tuition fees

Poll shows public wants action on student debt

SYDNEY – New polling data released this morning by the Post-Secondary Education Coalition shows clearly that the public wants the Liberals to address the issue of skyrocketing tuition fees and student debt. The Coalition held a press conference this morning in Sydney to release their findings, including that 95 per cent of people polled believe post-secondary education should be a high priority for government.

“Stephen McNeil’s Liberals have sat by and watched as tuition fees have skyrocketed in Nova Scotia. Cape Breton students shouldn’t have to take on mountains of debt to access post-secondary education,” said Tammy Martin, MLA for Cape Breton Centre.

The Liberals have allowed university tuition fees in Nova Scotia to become the second highest in the country, behind only New Brunswick. Average student debt in Nova Scotia has risen to $39,600. Eighty-nine per cent of respondents to the poll said they are somewhat or very concerned that students will leave the province to pay off their debts.

“Starting your life with massive student debt makes it difficult to start a family or buy a house,” said Lenore Zann, NDP Spokesperson for Advanced Education. “One first step the Liberals could take is to adopt the NDP's plan to eliminate tuition fees at the Nova Scotia Community College. This would give our young people the opportunity to start their lives without the burden of student debt.”

The NDP Caucus supports calls for a reduction in university tuition fees immediately, and an eventual move towards eliminating fees for college and university.

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