Monday, 26 September 2011

Ed finally makes a policy... To help the most successful/well off graduates.

Ed Miliband has announced that Labour's new tuition fees policy (if they are to be believe, after they were the ones who introduced it after promising not to and subsequently raised it after promising not to - I know we can't take the moral high ground here but it is worth bearing in mind) is to cap tuition fees at £6,000.  Why?  

Wow.  He (apparently - I haven't listened to him, I find that very hard to do) also said:

It's great to know the Labour leadership are really looking after the children from the poorest backgrounds and are doing their best to make it easy for them to go to University... that is why they are introducing a policy that would only benefit those whom after they graduate end up earning vastly in excess of the national average - it seems that perhaps Labour are actually the party for those affluent rather than the working class poor,

Don't just take my word for it, there are many sites that analyse this, the best probably being Money Supermarket - play along with their calculator if you don't believe me:

Even with no maintenance loan (and therefore from a wealthy background) the starting salary for a graduate would have to be over £25,000 for them to repay less under Labour's new scheme (yes, that's already above what the majority of the nation earns as a starting salary and coming from a wealthy background).  However taking someone eligible for the maximum maintenance loan (and therefore from the "squeezed middle - as lower income people get more in grants) then they would need a STARTING SALARY of greater than £38,500 to be better off under fees of £6,000 - otherwise the policy is irrelevant to them.

So it's good to see Ed has finally nailed his colours to the mast and come up with a policy, it's just a shame that this policy will benefit those people who leave University and go on to be really successful rather than helping the poorest people as they intend.  In my mind if anything is putting young people off going to University it is the politicking of the argument by making the students (and parents) think that they can't afford it when in fact they will be able to (even if it isn't as nice as free university).  Don't worry though, I would happily place a large wager that this wont be in the Labour Party's manifesto in 2015.

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