Could this be the thing that breaks the Lib Dem/Tory partnership?
So Vince Cable (Business Secretary) recommends a graduate tax - the Tories instantly distance themselves from it - to them no doubt it's subtitled "Loss of middle class vote". Two things about this... firstly it shows the holes in the coalition along with Nick Clegg's mistakes when standing in at PM question time this week (Word of advice Nick - you cannot give a "personal opinion" when standing in for the PM - you have to stick rigidly to the "party line" else we all get confused and think that you don't actually agree with the policy that you are supposedly implementing - a quick learning curve here for what it means to be in the government not on the opposition benches I feel). If Vince is the Business Secretary he shouldn't be making public statements about potential policy for it to be debated openly. This is ok if we are in a public consultation but surely the government should debate things in government not through the media? New politics or just confusion... you decide :-) Oh my God - this is always getting to a Simon Cowell like programme - "The Politics Factor" Dear God!
Ok to the point that graduates should pay more back because they get their degrees... er don't they already do that? Isn't the figure something like you are likely to earn I think at least a quarter of a million more over your career with a degree rather than without one? If so the government takes at least 20% of that - more likely more like 40% - 50% anyway. Also what about the earnings and inward investment that a highly qualified workforce brings to the country. I'd like to see something review how much inward investment degree educated people bring into this country and hence the growth of the economy and hence income into the government. I really really think we are on a precipice here and we either make a decision that our future is as a highly skilled science and knowledge based economy or not... but what is the not? If you look like making it hugely expensive for graduates to work in this country why wouldn't they leave? So stay in UK with high tax levels and/or large student debt to pay off or go to the USA for example or more easily into the Eu where we all have the right to go live and work without any need for a visa or anything like that and they can leave that all the debt/tax behind. Once those decisions become prevalent in our post graduate workforce then companies looking for a highly skilled workforce as an attractive investment potential may go... build in the UK, with issues of currency being outside the Euro a dwindling graduate population or invest in USA (ideal if USA company) or in the Euro zone or India or China? Hmm.... What would you do if you were the CEO of a global company thinking about where to base new R&D or product design/development facilities in the future?