Polly Today

This is lovely.

The first half is about that Joseph Rowntree report on the minimum income needed to escape poverty. She entirely misses the fact that people on the minimum wage do in fact make that necessary amount: if only they weren\’t being forced to hand over 18% of their income in income tax and NI. The fault lies not with a minimum wage that is too low, but with a tax system which reaches too far down into the incomes of the poor.

The second part is even better. She\’s just found out that it was the structural changes in the jobs market which fueled the greater social mobility of the post war decades: not the education system. Which pretty much puts the kibosh on her oft repeated insistence that it was the introduction of the comprehensive school system which fueled said mobility.

In the 1960s bright school-leavers at 16 could work their way up, but now lack of qualifications keeps them in their place as graduates from better backgrounds seize that job instead.

Quite, and thus one method of increasing social mobility would be to reduce the eduational establishment. Slash the number of university places, all the way back to 10%, 15% of the age cohort, make a degree the preserve again of those who really need one, rather than what it is now, a signalling mechanism that you are of the background fortunate enough to spend that extra 5 years (from 16 onwards) in said education system.

9 thoughts on “Polly Today”

  1. Elitist! The general direction we are heading is to turn our Universities into comprehensives. I would not be surprised that within 20 years Universities will not be allowed to select on ability.

  2. That was awful even by her dismal standards.

    She KNOWS FINE WELL that the first half of your post is correct (and said so – i.e. that the poorest workers should be taken out of tax – at Church House).

    Many so-called qualifications are so substandard as to be virtually worthless – it’s not worthy of the word “education”. Yet she treats one A-level/degree as being as good as another. Total balls.

  3. The tax system shouldn’t reach into anyone’s income. After all the government doesn’t own you, or what you do with your time. Nor should it punish you for being productive.

    The LVT is far preferable.

  4. ACO,

    Please don’t use terms like LVT without explanantion. I googled LVT without success. What is it?

  5. · Polly Toynbee was this week named political journalist of the year in the Public Affairs News awards

    This person is your BEST political journalist? How proud you must be!

  6. Why should there be a target for the number of people going to University? Stipulating 5% is just as silly as stipulating 50%. If students are paying the cost of their tuition then it will sort itself out.

Leave a Reply

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