§ 7. Mr. Canavan
asked the Secretary of State for Education and Science what is the purchasing power of (a) the minimum and (b) the maximum student grant expressed as a percentage of the value in May 1979.
§ Mr. Brooke
The purchasing power of the minimum and the maximum student grant for 1984–85, expressed as a percentage of the value in September 1978, is 58 per cent. and 91 per cent., respectively. Grants are paid from September, and it is appropriate to apply the corresponding price indices.
§ Mr. Canavan
Is the Minister aware that the Government's last reported climbdown on the student grants issue was of benefit to only a minority of better-off parents, and that students in general have suffered a vicious attack on their living standards since the Tory Government came to power in 1979? Is it not about time that the purchasing power of the student grant was restored and parental contributions phased out completely so that students can study in peace instead of having to worry about poverty and financial hardship?
§ Mr. Brooke
It is because the issue of student grants attracted the attention that it did in November and December that my right hon. Friend the Secretary of State announced the review that is taking place this year.
§ Mr. Robert B. Jones
Why should an apprentice bricklayer in my constituency pay tax to support grants for people who are better off than he is?