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.

5 thoughts on “So?”

  1. 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.

    No, you’re wrong here – which is why tax credits, which are precisely a system to ensure that only the poor benefit from state spending, are still a bad idea.

    Universal benefits cost very little to administer. Targeted and means-tested benefits cost a hell of a lot to administer. This means that there is less waste of resources in total if universal benefits are provided (in one case, the government is taking a fiver off the middle classes and giving them £4.95 back; in the other, the government is taking a fiver off the middle classes, giving £3.50 to the poor, and wasting the rest…)

  2. “The means-tested student maintenance grant”: bloody hell, it’s back to the 60s.

  3. What John B says.

    Why shouldn’t students – however rich or poor they or their parents are – not get the same Citizen’s Income as an unemployed person in that age group, realistically about £40 or £50 a week?

    If parents are paying the tax to fund the system it seems a tad churlish not to let their children have some back.

  4. I have always thought it wrong that a 18-23 year olds are dependent on their parents. But contrary to Mark I would go with Thomas Sowell’s solution:

    “… would be to allow students to sign enforceable contracts by which lenders would pay their college or university expenses in exchange for a given percentage of their future earnings. That way, students would be issuing stocks to raise capital, the way corporations do, instead of being limited to borrowing money to be paid back in fixed amounts — the latter being equivalent to issuing corporate bonds. “

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *