Thursday, 1 October 2009

Called to account?

Whilst basking in the pluses of being 50+ I was reminded last week that our generation are not universally admired or approved of. Just reflect on this letter published in the Guardian of Thursday 24th September 2009;

'How is it that your generation feels it can continue to shaft my generation (CBI advises raising university fees to £5,000 a year to tackle funding crisis, September 21)? I am 23, and have many friends who are unemployed due to an economic crisis caused by your generation. We can't afford houses as your generation preferred anything rather than burst the bubble. We will have no oil, and will face a climate crisis that your generation has continually refused to fix. And now your generation is proposing raising university tuition fees due to a funding crisis which you caused.

I have an alternative suggestion. Instead of increasing the already huge debt that most students face when leaving university, how about we place a windfall tax on the generation that received funding while in further education? How about we make you pay for your university funding crisis, by making you pay the equivalent loan that we have had to pay – with interest?

Now, it's unfair that it should be based on the average student loan – after all, things were cheaper – but then you're going to have to pay your grant back as well. So, let's give you the average £15,000 loan, apply the RPI from the 25 years since you graduated. That's no interest while you're at university, as we're feeling kind. That comes to £373,515. Payable tomorrow.

Maybe this will force some of you off the property ladder, bringing down house prices. You'll have to spend less and economise; forget your patio heater. And finally, maybe it will make you take some responsibility for what you've done. You've made this mess, so you can pay to clear it up.

George Lewkowicz London

Well said George! You will be a brilliant addition to the 'grumpy old men' in 50 years time!

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