Cubie committee

September 24, 1999

Scrap tuition fees. Restore the maintenance grant. And raise income tax to pay for it.

That was the message to the Cubie committee at its first public meeting in Glasgow, the kick-off of a two-week roadshow across Scotland.

Most of the 90 people who attended were parents and grandparents of students, mature students and academics. Education benefited the whole of society, and therefore the whole of society should pay, they insisted.

There were dark mutterings when one young man claimed that higher education was a

middle-class pursuit and asked why someone who had never seen a university should be taxed for it.

"Sit doon before ye're knocked doon," snapped one participant.

Convener Andrew Cubie said the committee's recommendations might well touch on issues that went beyond the power of the Scottish Parliament.

"We will not balk at making recommendations that are quite widely drawn in their implications," he said.

See Trends, page viii

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