Ed Miliband’s pledge to cut student tuition fees from £9k to £6k is nonsensical.
Student loans in the UK are not real debt and should not be thought of as ‘debt’. You pay back x% of your income over a certain amount, and it gets wiped after y years. For most people, the repayment rate is so low and the loan so big that they will pay back a small amount of money for their entire working life, or until y years have passed. They will never repay the whole amount. It more resembles a tax than a debt and should be thought of as such.
Cutting the fees to £6k will mean that high earners pay off their debt sooner and thus no longer pay the tax. Medium and low earners will still never fully repay their debt, so they will pay back exactly the same amount of money whether the fees are £6k, £9k or £100000k. It does not make sense to cut fees in this manner because it just means a tax cut for high earners, i.e. the people who need a tax cut the least.
Employment has supposedly gone up to record levels and the tories are patting themselves on the back for it.
With it, we get the news that wage growth is up at 2.1%.
But we had 2.x% wage growth in 2010 and 2011; it’s only 2012-2014 that it really tanked down to ~1%, and now it’s just come back up to 2010 levels (at which point it was already considered low). The main difference now is that since inflation has unexpectedly plummeted, it suddenly sounds like a good deal, but this is mostly down to international oil prices and have nothing to do with the conservatives.
If we really have reached record employment levels then in the space of a few years we’ve gone from record unemployment to record employment, and should therefore be seeing a very, very sharp upturn in wage growth as employers find it harder to fill positions and have to offer a better deal. So far, all we’ve really done is reclaim the ground we lost two years ago.
It is unfortunate this has happened in the months preceding a general election.
To demonstrate a little, this morning I received some recruitment spam for PHP developers with “strong experience”, offering £23k. The only people with “strong experience” this could be appealing to are people who have been unemployed a long time, because anyone who isn’t unemployed should be earning at least that amount. So if unemployment is at record lows, this position has absolutely no chance of being filled. There’s a similar C# developer position for 20-28k. If unemployment was low, why would anyone waste their time interviewing for a position starting at £20k?
Tagged with: politics
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It seems like on the internet there is a competition in any Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG) related discussion to be the first to say it’s terrible and unrealistic and a whole bunch of other things. Okay okay okay okay guys, that may or may not be true, but before you become euphoric in your own enlightenment, consider this:
1. Reading is actually a pretty commendable activity, and FSOG found a lot of success as a book so a lot of people must have read it. It expands your vocabulary, you think more about how language is constructed and it generally improves your ability to express yourself, even if the source material is not very good. Reading makes you a more intelligent and more functional person; it should never be discouraged, particularly among people who don’t read much.
2. FSOG encourages people to be more open minded about BDSM, which is something that a huge number of people find exciting on some level and which is generally viewed as an embarrassing urge for absolutely no good reason.
3. It doesn’t actually matter that it’s unrealistic. It’s fictional. Most fiction is unrealistic; that’s why it’s fiction. FSOG is not supposed to be a how to guide, and it would be pretty dull if it was (note: it may already be dull).