The letter below from Tony Dowling, who co-ordinated this open letter and spoke at yesterday's Newcastle rally, is in today's Newcastle Evening Chronicle:
Vince Cable gets it wrong
LIBDEM MP and coalition government Business Secretary Vince Cable says that funding university education through general taxation would not be fair. He is wrong.
He suggests that it is not fair that lower earners should fund university education since they do not benefit – this is absurd! Everybody in society benefits from the work done by graduates, whatever their income.
We all receive healthcare from graduates in the NHS, get taught by graduate teachers and buy goods and services throughout our lives which have been produced by graduates of all sorts, be they engineers, marketers, designers, scientists, accountants, etc.
And the fairest way to fund education is through general taxation. This way, the more you earn, the more you pay. So if graduates benefit from a higher income, they will pay more in tax!
Finally, it is worth noting that perhaps the greatest beneficiary of graduates are the companies that employ them for their talents. Isn’t it time these companies made a contribution towards the education of their assets?
Vince Cable is wrong about fairness, he is wrong about general taxation and he is wrong to draft a Tory policy of increased tuition fees.
TONY DOWLING, Coalition of Resistance – Tyne & Wear, firstname.lastname@example.org