Monday, 25 June 2012

Cameron Strikes Again!

Today David Cameron has again sought to blame the poor and unemployed for the problems of this nation. He claims there’s a culture of entitlement amongst those who claim Housing Benefit, especially the under 25s it seems.

A single person who’s unemployed isn’t better off than someone on minimum wage. Over 35s in Shepway are given around £80pcm less than can be earned on the minimum wage, even when you take into account free prescriptions. Those under 35, because of changes to Housing Benefit, are given a further £150pcm less. Taking housing benefit from under 25s will mean they have about £345pcm to live on, including paying rent and Council Tax.

This is not about a culture of entitlement. David Cameron is relying on two things. Firstly, the poor and unemployed won’t vote. They choose not to as they feel that every Party is lying to them. Secondly, people want someone to blame for their suffering. David Cameron has no intention of making his rich cronies accept their share of the blame so he is using this as a distraction to divide and conquer the public.

The only real solution to this financial crisis is growth and an end to Tax Avoidance and Evasion. The best way to do this, instead of throwing money at the banks, is to give people the means to improve their finances and to spend, by offering cheap loans direct to the public to help them get out of debt permanently.

Friday, 22 June 2012

Gary Says To Damian Collins MP - No 2 FE Fees!

Dear Mr Collins,

As I am sure you are aware, huge numbers of people will need to re-train in order for the economy to grow and help us escape from the current economic crisis. Students aged 24 and over who are currently completing A-Level or equivalent qualifications receive 50% of their course funding from the government. From 2013/14, there will be no public subsidy and students will be expected to pay 100% of their course fees via a student loan.

Over 375,000 students would have been affected by this policy if it had been introduced for this year's students. Across the South East region 31,200 learners would have been affected in further education colleges alone. At our local college, K College, 1,730 students studying at level 3 and above would have been affected. Of these 74% are women. At the college for which I work, Canterbury College, 580 students studying at level 3 and above would have been affected. Of these 56% are women. This strikes me as both sexist and ill advised given the current need to improve the skills of the workforce. I believe it will massively reduce the number of adults who are willing and able to access Further Education at a time when this number needs to vastly increase.

Publicly funded Further Education offers huge benefits to this country. Those who complete Further Education qualifications generate £70 billion more for the economy over their working lives than those without qualifications generate. Also, it is worth noting, for every £1 that is invested in an apprenticeship in this country a return of £40 is generated. This represents huge value for money and a massive boost for the economy.

I would therefore ask you to consider doing one of three things. I would ask that you attend Business Questions to ask the Leader of the House for a debate on Further Education Loans, apply for a Westminster Hall/Adjournment debate on the issue or write to the Minister calling on him to scrap this scheme or at the very least delay its introduction.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Yours sincerely,

Gary Fuller
Canterbury College UCU Branch Equality Rep