Parliament has spoken, and the Coalition was its majority drop from 84 to 21. But the vote means that from 2012 most students will leave university with a debt of up to and over £36,000.
Note that the MPs who were graduates will have left university with a debt of ~£0. Zero. Morally, those who voted in favour should write the universities a cheque for £30,000. "Morally". Don't hold your breath.
What are the unintended consequences of Parliament's decision? Here are a few possibilities. This is not my field, and the experts should have covered these points. Or not, as the case may be.
- A whole generation of students have been "blooded" in demonstrating and many will have animosity towards police that was not there previously. Big Society, anyone?
- Some who could have gone to University will not do so. Student numbers will fall, so student fees will fall, and Uni incomes will fall.
- Some who leave with a debt of £30k will go abroad. >Brain Drain.
- Some will curb their ambition or their tax returns to make sure that they do not cross the £21k threshold where they start paying tax.
- Some will be unable to afford a mortgage as well as their student debt. This will have an effect on the housing market, which, reasonably or not, is an important component of the UK's economy.
Six, counting the fact that the whole nation has been glued to TV/Twitter all day.