Not long to go before MPs vote to fleece students and their parents for most of their lives.
Most Liberal Democrats are gearing up to rat on their solemn pre-election pledge not to increase university tuition fees. Like snake oil salesmen, MPs claim that the new scheme is fairer than the old one when it is nothing of the sort.
That their remedy will make you better however horrible the taste. Hiking charges by 300 per cent does not strike me as fair in any way. No business would be allowed to get away with such a massive hike.
Just because you raise the repayment salary threshold to £21,000 will make precious little difference to a young person facing decades of debt, possibly amounting – with interest - to more than £100,000. And that’s over and above housing and other costs of living. Not to mention the advice to put aside money for pensions that will continue to plummet.
There is nothing good about the proposal for students and parents. There is benefit for universities because they need to compensate for national revenue being stripped away. We want top quality unis.
Business needs skilled people and looks to universities to provide them. But it is not right to put all the onus on the individual to fund them. The state needs to invest more in higher education because the whole community benefits from a skilled workforce.
Universities should also publish the real cost of tuition for each course. The latest figure seems to have been plucked from the air. And why should English students pay so much when their Welsh and Scottish compatriots, no doubt subsidised by English taxpayers, are charged nothing? What's fair about that?
Many parents chose not to send their children to private school because they could not afford to. Now their offspring – no doubt with parental help - are being compelled to pay comparable levels of fees, yet household incomes have not changed much for the majority.
Only a minority of graduates will hit pay dirt. Most will be in jobs – if they can find one – that used to require A levels, and in some instances GCSEs. Good luck to the students who protest today (8) - keep it peaceful! - about a plan that is bound to deter a sizeable number of young people brought up in thrifty or low-income households from applying to university.
Cutting student numbers might well be one of the aims of this policy. But students' efforts will sadly change little because democracy does not work between elections. MPs will follow their leaders rather than their beliefs and instincts. What a poor lesson they are setting to young people about integrity, moral fibre and keeping promises.
It will leave a legacy of distrust to an impressionable generation. Never glad confident morning again.