Thursday, 20 January 2011

Ee Ma, why can't I go to college?

So, the Government is in debt - we know that. Because successive administrations have been frightened of the 'T' word (Tax) as a means of increasing their income in order to pay for the things that the tax-payers say they would like government to provide for them, because tax is a politically-sensitive subject, massive borrowing has happened so that things could be done. Even when governments have sought to raise income through taxation they have been accused of 'stealth taxes' by the opposition, perpetuating the myth that taxes are a bad thing.

Our present government, keen to get to grips with the massive deficit that it inherited, have decided that, rather than tax those who are payed far too much for what they do a little more (I won't say 'earn huge amounts', because I'm not convinced that 'earn' is the right word here), they prefer to cut spending in certain areas. One of the chief areas for those cuts has been in education: not in the provision of education per se, but in the financial support that is given to students in higher & further education. Tuition fees for universities tripled, and now the EMA - Educational Maintenance Allowance - scrapped (despite saying before the election that they had no plans to do so - who is going to believe anything a politician says any more?).

EMA was paid incrementally to students whose parental income is less than £30,810 p.a. The Prime Minister's old school, Eton College, charged fees of £28,851 in the academic year 2009/10, so those of Mr Cameron's acquaintance won't need to worry about its scrapping, will they? But for those a lot further down the social scale, this will put a further barrier in their way of ever having the life chances that Cameron's cronies have enjoyed.

This in iniquitous and plainly inequitable. But can anyone do anything about it? Or are the 'lower classes' fated to stay 'in their place'? Clearly John Major's dream of a 'classless society' has gone for good, under the present regime, and they seem deaf to the petitions of those whose futures are being mortgaged to this blinkered political stance.