Education+: Your Views - Hypocrisy of means testing

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I find it possible only in the double-speak world of New Labour that Margaret Hodge should be able to state, entirely correctly, that fewer than 10 per cent of all students come from a working-class background, yet then say that it is "bold and radical" to introduce "proper means testing" and abolish grants totally and introduce tuition fees.

How will abolishing "free education" do anything to change, or indeed prevent from getting any worse, this clear class bias.

It is probably true to say that graduates earn more than non-graduates. However, I do not see this as an argument for bringing in extra taxes for graduates alone; instead people should pay more tax because they have more money. What about those of us, myself included, who want to study for education's sake, instead of becoming a millionaire. I live in the borough of Barking and Dagenham (average annual wage pounds 12,000), part of which Margaret Hodge is supposed to represent. Could she please tell us how many of her constituents will be going to university this year, and whether she expects it to rise once a debt of pounds 15,000-plus is required?

Matthew Heaney

(just finished A-levels, was hoping to work before going to university, but thanks to the government this seems unlikely)