The SNP’s spin on student debt has been exposed.

New analysis of statistics shows that, contrary to repeated claims from the SNP, students in Wales leave University with the lowest level of average student debt in the UK.

The analysis, from former Head of Higher Education in the Scottish Government and expert on student finance Lucy Hunter Blackburn, also confirms that the poorest students in Scotland end up with the highest student debt.

Commenting, Scottish Labour Opportunity spokesperson Iain Gray said:

“Scottish Labour wants every single young person to have the best possible start in life. That’s why we want to cut the attainment gap between the richest and the rest in our classrooms and why we support keeping university tuition free.

The SNP promised students they would end loans and pay off debt. Instead they have slashed the budget for bursaries and grants by £40 million and student debt has soared. The student debt book is now the Scottish Government’s biggest single financial asset – worth more than the new Forth Bridge.

This new expert research confirms what Scottish Labour has been saying for months – that it is the poorest students who rack up the highest debt in Scotland. Those who start with the least end up owing the most.

The analysis shows that it is Wales, not Scotland, where student debt is at it’s lowest, despite repeated claims from the SNP.

When it comes to student debt the SNP are strangers to the truth.

Thousands of young people from poorer families who have the grades to access the best courses can only get the extra support they need by borrowing more. We need to deliver better student support for our young people.”