James Forsyth

Winning over the squeezed middle

Winning over the squeezed middle
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Politically, one of the key questions about Lord Browne’s suggestion that tuition fees should be raised is how the tribunes of the middle classes react. Will a rise in fees be seen as another burden on those who work hard, play by the rules and are already bearing more than their fair share of the costs of the state?

If the argument is to be won, the coalition will have to show that students will now get more out of their university experience. There’ll have to be an emphasis on how these changes will make universities improve the quality of the teaching that they offer.

It’ll be worth watching to see if the question of who can increase the interest rate flares up over the next few weeks. The word in Westminster that the coalition will suggest RPI plus three percent, but will a future government be able to change that?