The Liberal Democrats are leading a cross-party call urging the Government to set up emergency Coronavirus Maintenance Grants for students from low-income backgrounds who are struggling as a result of the pandemic.
Layla Moran, Liberal Democrat Education spokesperson, who is leading the campaign, warned students from low-income backgrounds are not able to claim Universal credit but are among the most “economically vulnerable in society during this crisis, and they do not have their parents to fall back on.”
MPs representing university towns from across the political spectrum have signed a letter to the Chancellor which also highlights that businesses relying on temporary student labour will find it far easier to hire a new cohort of students to fill vacancies when the shops, pubs and restaurants reopen, rather than furlough students that may not even be resident in the same city when the pandemic subsides.
Liberal Democrat Education Spokesperson Layla Moran said:
“Students from low-income backgrounds are among the most economically vulnerable in society during this crisis, and they do not have their parents to fall back on. They are not eligible for Universal Credit, and many who do work throughout their studies have fallen through the cracks in the Government’s furlough scheme.
“That’s why I, along with thirteen other cross-party MPs with university constituencies, have written to the Chancellor, calling on him to introduce a maintenance grant to help poorer students through these tough and stressful times. We cannot allow the most vulnerable in our society to fall through the gaps.”