A £165 million package of student support due to be introduced in September will disproportionately benefit undergraduates from middle-class families while providing only minimal support for the poor, the Conservatives claim.
The means-tested student maintenance grant, which covers living costs but not fees, will be available to students whose parents earn up to £60,000. Previously the cap was £39,305. Families on £25,000, up from the previous threshold of £18,360, will receive the full grant of £2,835.
The reforms, designed to attract more working-class students into higher education, should mean an extra 100,000 will have help to pay their way through university. But a new analysis of government data by David Willetts, the Shadow Universities Secretary, has found that 90 per cent of the extra spending will initially go to families in higher socioeconomic groups.
“Students from the most affluent families gain £150 million, while those from poorer families gain only £15 million,” Mr Willetts said. The finding could embarrass the Government, still reeling from the fallout generated by its abolition of the 10p tax band.
Part and parcel of the way the Welfare State operates. Got to bribe the Middle Classes into supporting the minimal benefits for the poor. It\’s why the structure is so goddamn expensive. If we actually moved to a system whereby only the poor benefitted from all that State spending then we\’d be able to do it all for a pittance.
But that wouldn\’t create the desired army of supplicant voters, which is why it ain\’t gonna happen.