In last week’s budget the government announced that maintenance grants for poorer students would be replaced by loans from 2016/17.
These grants are targeted at families on incomes of less than £25,000 with a decreasing amount available for households on incomes up to £42,620.
Latest figures from the student loans company show that around 4,600 students in Tower Hamlets are benefitting from this grant, worth up to £3,300. A total of around £13 million for the most disadvantaged Tower Hamlets students in the previous academic year.
Local liberal democrats have said that this was a plan their party had to block whilst in coalition.
Elaine Bagshaw, spokesperson for Tower Hamlets' Liberal Democrats said:
“This is a direct attack on the poorest families, adding a barrier to young people going to University.
The Lib Dems blocked these Tory plans in 2013, insisting that this extra support for the poorest students should be protected just as we insisted on extra money for the poorest students in the school system through the pupil premium.
Now we’re seeing a Tory majority government jump at the chance to hit this group of young people.”