ALIS Ballance, who is top of the Scottish Green Party’s regional list in the South of Scotland for the forthcoming Holyrood election, has confirmed her opposition to the introduction of student tuition fees.
Speaking on Monday at her party’s manifesto launch, Mrs Ballance confirmed her unequivocal support for the National Union of Students (NUS) Scotland’s Reclaim Your Voice campaign.
The campaign calls on politicians across Scotland’s political parties to protect graduate numbers and college places, and to improve student support after the election.
The Greens’ manifesto also includes a commitment to a £100million annual programme to insulate every home in Scotland and fairer taxes to support investment in public services.
Mrs Balance said: “Across the south Scotland region, from the Borders to Dumfries and Galloway, our educational institutes and students are being squeezed by the current cuts agenda.
“They should know that the Scottish Green Party stands with them, and I have made a solemn promise to the NUS that, when elected, I will not vote for any fees, under any name, nor any additional graduate contribution. Graduates already make a fair contribution through income tax, and the more they earn, the more they pay.
“I fully support the Reclaim Your Voice campaign, even if politicians from other parties have a track record that’s undermined the credibility of promises made to students.
“It’s not just the Lib Dems, either – Labour introduced fees in 1997, and the SNP broke a clear pledge to abolish student debt in 2007.
“Not only will Greens oppose a return to tuition fees in Scotland, we’ll oppose a graduate tax too. There already is one, and it’s called income tax.”