I listened in amazement on Sunday as Milibland was talking to Andrew Marr on the Biased Broadcasting Corporation. Actually, it was double amazement because well known lefty Marr was actually having a go at him and that really is something you don’t see very often…
I have come to the conclusion that Milibland thinks we are all thick, and that students are thicker than most.
When considering the emotive subject of tuition fees it is easy to forget that it was the Labour government that introduced them in the first place. Admittedly it was this government that raised the bar as to the maximum that universities were allowed to charge, but let’s remember that this is a maximum not a set amount.
Now Milibland says he wants to reduce that maximum to £6,000 and suggests that this is paid for by a higher income tax rate for the highest paid graduates. I did note that he would not commit himself to putting this in the 2015 election manifesto.
I am confused as to how exactly this would work. Are we saying that you will have to declare on your tax return – which not everyone fills in, of course – whether you have a degree? Will people who already have degrees be forced to pay? And which degrees count and which don’t? Will a graduate with a Desmond pay less than one with a Geoff Hurst?
Anyway, in the unlikely even that this complete load of rubbish is ever introduced – which of course it won’t be – it effectively means that instead of borrowing a finite amount of money and repaying it out of tax when you start earning decent money, you will be paying an infinite amount of money out of your income tax for the rest of your working life.
So under the Labour scheme you will pay back a hell of a lot more than you ever would under the Coalition plans.
And you’re not even paying for your own university education – you’re actually paying for someone else.
If you fall for this one, then you might be educated but you’re clearly not very bright…