NUS Scotland respond to Scottish Labour Minimum Student Income announcement
Scottish Labour have committed to introduce a new Minimum Student Income of £9,500 per year, made up of bursaries and loans, based on a £10 per hour income.
Responding, NUS Scotland President Liam McCabe said:
“We welcome Scottish Labour’s commitment to increase cost-of-living support available to Scotland’s students.
“With a new Real Living Wage rate announced this week, cost-of-living support available to students is to fall even further behind living costs faced by students.
“We will continue to make the case for increased investment in cost-of-living support to be focused on non-repayable bursary, so we don’t see students – especially those from the poorest backgrounds – saddled with unsustainable levels of debt for years to come.”
The Student Support Review, published in November 2017, recommended an entitlement of £8,100, available to all students. This amount was based on the value the Real Living Wage, as at 26 October 2017, of £8.45. Student support has not been uprated in line with the value of the Real Living Wage. The Living Wage Foundation announced yesterday (11 November 2019) a new Real Living Wage rate for 2019/20 of £9.30 per hour.
When responding to the recommendations of the Review, the then then Minister for Further Education, Higher Education and Science set out the Scottish Government’s “ambition” to achieve support equivalent to the Real Living Wage. The then Minister also announced that bursaries available to full-time care-experienced students would be increased to £8,100, “as per the Review’s recommendation of funding equivalent to the Living Wage”.