March 24, 2010 12:00 AM

Cardiff Central's Liberal Democrat MP Jenny Willott has today warned about the dangers of spiralling student debt after a report by the National Union of Students showed a dramatic increase in the cost of student accommodation in Wales.

The NUS report, released today, shows that the cost of student rent in Wales has gone up 18.5% in the last three years. The average cost of rent per Welsh student now stands at £79.40 per week. At the same time the financial support given to students across the UK has remained largely unchanged meaning the burden of these increases fall on students themselves.

Speaking today, Ms Willott, whose constituency contains a large number of students studying at Cardiff University, UWIC, the University of Glamorgan and the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, warned that the increase could cause even more students to fall into serious debt.

She said:

"The figures released by the NUS show that it is becoming harder and harder for students to afford all the costs associated with going to University. The average student debt is already £17,500 and the increase in accommodation costs will cause even more financial difficulties.

"We should be providing every possible support to young people wanting to study at university, not putting more and more obstacles in their way.

"That is why a Lib Dem Government would abolish tuition fees, in order to help students avoid some of this crippling debt.

"We would also change the tax system so that no-one would pay tax on the first £10,000 they earn each year, which would help recently graduated students to pay off their debts quicker."

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