Lord Browne’s proposals for hiking university fees may please our academic institutions but is yet another blow to the budgets of millions of families on average or just above average earnings.
This generally law-abiding group that makes little demand on the state is being attacked from all sides. The rich will not notice much difference whether the fees are £3,000, or £7,000. The poorest will be given financial assistance.
But earners on or just above the 40 per cent tax threshold will lose child benefit and qualify for next to no help for doing their best for their family and the country.
Now their children face being saddled with massive lifetime debts for tuition fees, told by rich people to save huge sums for their pension, ordered to work until they drop at 70, as well as taking out a colossal mortgage to buy a home. It will be impossible for many who will abandon aspiration.
Hiking university fees will deter many potential undergraduates. Families already assailed on all fronts by a pincer movement of fewer benefits and higher costs will say enough is enough.
With the jobs market in such a parlous state, many graduates cannot find a job. Or if they can, their salary is likely to be pretty average, although no doubt just above the proposed £21,000 threshold when repayment - at standard interest rate mind you - will kick in. Not everyone will become an investment banker.
If a nation cannot help develop an educated workforce for its future, when India, China, Asia and a host of nations are already overtaking the UK, it is in a poor way.
Tory cuts and cost increases are going too far, creating a sense of pessimism among people who are willing to contribute so much. Labour went too far on a spending spree, the Coalition is going too far the other way.
Someone once said that they liked paying taxes because it bought them civilisation. Present policies are destroying this dictum. The UK is becoming an uncivilised place with a plummeting quality of life. It will be no surprise if the brightest vote to study abroad, while others, if they can afford it, will move abroad. Who could blame them in a society that is being increasingly cruel to Middle Britain.