I’ve been interested to see that the government is giving serious thought to introducing a Graduate Tax, rather than raising Tuition Fees.
The issue is coming to a head as Lord Browne is due to report on University funding in the autumn — and it’s possible that he could recommend that fees rise to £7,000 or even £10,000.
But the Graduate Tax is a fairer alternative, and one I’ve been arguing for for some time.
This is an important matter of principle. The supremacy of the market has extended too far into areas that should not be defined by commodity and exchange. But it is also a practical question. As fees rise further, less well-off as well as part-time students will be even less likely to apply to more expensive universities and so damage their opportunities. That does not fit in with the values of this party or this country.
An important matter of principle, huh? One so important that yesterday evening Ed Miliband did a complete about turn and instead chose to support, in principle, higher tuition fees! In fact the Government, though setting the higher end tuition fees to £9000, had hoped universities would charge around the £6000 figure Ed Miliband now supports a cap at!
I, of course, can't wait to see the far left and students groups marching through the streets of Liverpool protesting this "betrayal" and demanding Miliband's head (perhaps with some offensive execution placards and props) like they did over Nick Clegg's and the Lib Dems "betrayal" (note Lib Dems did not say they'd introduce raising fees if they'd gotten a majority in Parliament, unlike Miliband who is now saying exactly that). I suspect I may find myself disappointed. I'm sure those tuition fee Lib Dem defectors to the Labour party will be extremely happy to have made the move.
Miliband's suggestion is, in fact, of little help to those in most need and of most help to those who don't need assistance. Sara Bedford lists the issues his ill-thought out policy throws up.
Let's face it, this policy has been suggested as a headline grabber that doesn't do what it's implied to do (help the most needy) and instead hopes to hoodwink the desperate, the young and the disillusioned into supporting a party that is completely devoid of principled and different policies. It's same old New Labour spin, and doesn't bode well for the seemingly never ending Labour policy review's findings. I doubt progressives, liberals or lefties will find much to celebrate when more new policies are announced.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist