Politics.co.uk Blog

Tuesday, 2 November 2010

Could Lib Dems be in for some good news on tuition fees?

It's been nothing but misery for many – correction, all – Liberal Democrat MPs since Lord Browne published his review of higher education funding last month.

Plans to increase tuition fees directly contradict the pledge signed by the party's candidates before the general election. Nick Clegg has tried his best to persuade them why they need to break their promise, but many have understandably threatened that they simply can't betray their constituents in this way.

Now some good news may finally have arrived. politics.co.uk is hearing that ministers have come up with a solution to the impasse which would allow the potential rebels to fall into line.

We understand a statement from either the Conservatives' higher education minister David Willetts or the Liberal Democrat business secretary Vince Cable could be made as soon as tomorrow lunchtime, after prime minister's questions, resolving the matter.

One Lib Dem source told us that the moves were sufficient to persuade him not to vote against the government, as he had previously feared he might have had to do.

Another said a cap on tuition fee rises remained a possibility. Cable suggested introducing a £7,000 cap on fees, more than doubling the current rate, last month.

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