Link to this page: https://secure.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/765/16685
From The Socialist newspaper, 15 May 2013
Swansea's food bank for students
Swansea Metropolitan University's student union has been running a food bank since April so its own students can get enough to eat.
Student Union sabbatical officer Michael Twitchen, who launched the scheme, says: "Students have come to see me about their finances for all kinds of reasons. Our aim is that no student should sacrifice food for education.
"Many students have to choose between paying bills, getting the rent in on time, buying books, and buying food. Food and healthy diets are often put last on the list of purchases."
The Welsh Assembly provides a small, inadequate living grant for full-time undergraduates but many Swansea Met students are part-time, mature students living off campus and with families.
The scheme is the first in UK universities, but food banks for students are already commonplace in the USA and Canada.
The day before this news broke, university vice-chancellors announced they want students to start paying back undergraduates' loans when their income is only £18,000 a year, far below the UK average.
With recent graduates only barely scraping by if they get a job, adding an additional £75 to their monthly bills could dissuade thousands from higher education.
Underemployment is now epidemic and many students wouldn't even make use of their degree in their first job after graduating.
Society produces enough wealth to eliminate tuition fees and provide every student, full-time or part-time, with a maintenance grant, as was done before Thatcher.
We need a mass movement of workers, students and the unemployed to build a democratic, socialist education system: free at the point of use and accessible to all.
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The coronavirus crisis has laid bare the class character of society in numerous ways. It is making clear to many that it is the working class that keeps society running, not the CEOs of major corporations.
The results of austerity have been graphically demonstrated as public services strain to cope with the crisis.
The government has now ripped up its 'austerity' mantra and turned to policies that not long ago were denounced as socialist. But after the corona crisis, it will try to make the working class pay for it, by trying to claw back what has been given.
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In The Socialist 15 May 2013:
Fight the bedroom tax
Axe the killer tax: End the bedroom tax now
Bedroom tax non-implementation
Socialist Party news and analysis
Give us jobs, not Tory lies
Stop the health cuts!
Fat cat tax-dodging: 200 lorry loads of lolly!
Con-Dems' benefit fact fraud
Them & Us
International socialist news and analysis
Socialist Party reports and campaigns
TUSC builds support in Leicester byelection
Swansea's food bank for students
British government supports murderous Sri Lankan regime
Socialist Party meeting against cuts
Socialist Party workplace news
Gloves off in Mid Yorks hospital battle
Brighton bin workers fight pay cuts - this time from the Greens
Wales TUC: no fight against austerity
Unison leader 'gets it wrong' over action on pay
PCS conference 20-23 May
Workplace news in brief
Letter to the Tories who tell me to 'work hard and strive'
When mass action defeated Thatcher's poll tax
Yeadon Mill strike 1913
The Socialist 15 May 2013 |
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