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Saturday, 28 February 2015

Arrogance versus folly

Ed Milliband has produced the first seriously silly proposal of the election campaign from a major party, ignoring the bloody experience if the Libdems in government. He is trying to buy the student vote by cutting fees in universities in England from £9K a year to £6K. Thus the debt on fees from a three year degree falls from £27,000 to £18,000. As students interviewed on TV olast evening said, add to this the debt from maintenance over the same three years and you face a total of some £50,000 at the present fee rate and £41,000 in Ed's Wonderworld. Big Deal! Ed tried to mitigate this by pointing out that the poorest students can get maintenance grants and universally bursaries, that somewhat reduce the maintenance burden. But someone aged 21with an indifferent degree in an oversupplied subject from a less-fashionable university - with no underpinning from the Bank of Mum and Dad - will face a difficult world with a debt of around £30K and the prospect of earning around £21K annually if they can get jobs at all. A notional reduction in the debt that lower-paid graduates may never have called-in is a very bad joke to the person who is expected to vote Labour to secure this huge benefit.

Meanwhile the ineffable rubber-faced Gideon at the Treasury gloats at Britain's "world beating" rate of economic growth. Any country can record a growth in turnover if more people are employed on minimum wages to sell more imported goods on credit. But it all hastens the day when the material despoliation of the economy becomes so severe that sources of credit are sealed off and the ruin that has been wrought on the people becomes fully evident. That arrogance is much more dangerous than Ed's sheer silliness.

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