It doesn’t make the rocketing university fees debacle right, but we finally have some information on what measures will be taken to help the poorest students. They don’t include keeping EMA. They include giving the poorest students the first year free. They don’t help those who are only just outside the free school meals boundary. They don’t address the sheer capitalist arrogance of the whole scheme.

The way some of those involved in these proposals are talking, you’d think the world was made up of a few very poor people and the rest of the world was as super-rich as our current Government, and by throwing down these sops to the poorest they can alleviate the wrongness of their ideas. For a start, a year’s fees taken off isn’t going to help all that much; there’s still living costs, which in some places are astronomical, and there’s still the other however-many years to pay for. Some courses take more than two or three years, and not every graduate of them ends up pulling in a high wage. And then there’s the others, who aren’t rich enough to not care about the increase or poor enough to qualify for the aid. They too will be put off university.

For a multi-millionaire Government, they do seem fond of making other people poorer. A disabled rights organisation in Wales has condemned the changes to disability benefits, saying – probably quite rightly – that they will sideline those reliant on the benefits still further and that the changes have been founded on flawed, reductionist research. Meanwhile, English patients still pay for prescriptions at a cost of £7.20, even for long-term illnesses such as MS; a cost that will already affect many of those affected by the changes.

And the expenses problem rumbles on, with MPs renting out homes they own and claiming for rented accommodation. In the first blast of the scandal, I was a bit more inclined to think ‘in a lax system, some of them may have been claiming because everyone did it and there was nothing to stop them.’ Now, after a huge news scandal and a crackdown, they’re finding ways to get around it. I think this is where we conclude they’re rotten apples.

So thanks, Westminster. We get to pay your bills and in return you take our money. How does that work? Oh yeah, capitalism, that’s how…

  1. Dreki says:

    Transactivist asked that George Osbourne be put on jobseeker’s allowance before he talks about what it’s like for people living on it. I’d like to see that happen in general- have the people in the government’s pay get cut until they’re actually in poverty before they can talk about the reality of people living in poverty.

  2. JKBC says:

    Yep, that would be a great thing to happen. Maybe finally then they’d get over their entitlement complexes and understand the implications of what they’re doing – but no, can’t cut their pay because then they’d bugger off and stop running the place and no-one good would replace them. Which is a shit argument because 1, they’ve made a mess of things and 2, a pay cut would mean less incentives for the moneygrubbers to go into politics.

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