Thursday, 9 December 2010

Tuition fees vote

It was passed, but by a slightly narrower majority than I had calculated - 323 for and 302 against, so just 21 majority for the Ayes. I had thought it would be nearer thirty.

Meanwhile, the protesters have been on the streets again (hardly surprising, today) and violent once more. Yet at no time have any students even lobbied the MPs who were planning to vote for this, though one student group booked an appointment in Pendle, but then didn't bother to turn up.

It has all been party political throughout, of course, as I have written before. It has been fairly obvious to anyone who has been around the block a few times, and Labour's alternative - the so-called graduate tax - would be far more expensive, being a tax for life rather than being time-limited come what may. In fact just about everything about the new scheme is better than either what exists at present or has been proposed by others. Therefore this is a good result, despite what some are still claiming.

There is a very good assessment of the topic and some of its history (most notably the Browne review) at PoliticsHome, which hasn't done this sort of thing all that well in the past. I suspect it's the recent arrival of the excellent Paul Waugh (who wrote the linked article) behind such changes for the better.

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