HC Deb 22 June 1982 vol 26 cc147-8
14. Mr. Michael Brown

asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he is monitoring the new arrangements for the financing of student unions.

Mr. Waldegrave

After the new arrangements have been in force for some time my right hon. Friend will, of course, wish to consider whether they have worked sensibly.

Mr. Brown

I acknowledge the progress that has been made by my hon. Friend and his colleagues in the Department of Education and Science. Does he not accept that many students object violently to the fact that vast sums of money are paid on their behalf by the ratepayers, over which they have absolutely no control? Following the question by the hon. Member for Derby, North (Mr. Whitehead), does my hon. Friend not accept that students would be much better off if they were allowed to spend the money that is now spent for them by irresponsible student unions?

Mr. Waldegrave

My hon. Friend may not be aware that student union subscriptions have been abolished and that the ratepayer is no longer directly involved. The funds are part and parcel of the recurrent funds of the institutions concerned. It is up to the responsible students involved, who are in the majority, to see that the funds entrusted to student unions are properly spent. If they are not, there is legal recourse.