Friday, March 18, 2005

The budget

I want to comment on the budget that happened this week. There are a lot of things that happened in it that were a waste and a bribe in the best possible way. That is nothing new every government does that before an election.

There were some things that when looked at are strange and don’t provide any common sense at all. The one that comes to mind straight away is the fact they are going to give 16-18 year old £75 a week for staying on in education. Now I can see some of the logic in this, the idea that by paying them they will want to and should then stay on and be more qualified. But if you look at this in the real sense, this has nothing to do with increasing the skill level of young adults, this is all to do with keeping them off the jobless figures. If this was about increasing the education/skill level of young adults, they would then pay the same amount of money to those who are studying degrees, and no, they are making them pay for getting a degree, but to just continue studying until they are 18, they are paying them £75 a week.

This is more money than a single pensioner gets, this is more than someone gets who is on Job Seekers Allowance (JSA), more than a single parent gets who is on JSA, more than a disabled person gets on JSA

So why is it deemed okay to pay 16-18 year olds £75 a week to do something which is beneficial to them anyway. I am more than sure that pensioners, those on JSA have more bills, more allowance for that money than 16-18 year olds. A pensioner has paid in all their life National Insurance contributions, and many of those on JSA have also paid National Insurance contributions as well, yet they get less. Someone on JSA will get £58 a week to survive on, compared to £75.

I don’t see the logic, I really don’t. If they want to make sure that those over the age of 16 go on further, just raise the age of leaving to 18 that then forces them to stay in education no matter what. I am all for educating more people, and not just by traditional means, vocational as well, but this government really has this totally screwed up.

I give another example of screwed up, if you are unemployed and wish to undertake a part time degree say with the Open University (OU) they will pay for the course, only as long as you don’t already have a first degree. So those who are trying to change careers from one sector to another by further educating themselves and are unfortunate enough to be unemployed, don’t get funding by the government, because they deem it not of use to have someone train for another degree.

This governments policy on education is totally wrong, and amazingly enough we have let them get away with making it so that those who wish to study for degrees have to pay, whereas those say MPs who sit in the commons now have had their degrees paid for by the state, that is called hypocrisy no matter how you look at it.

This budget was a bribe budget, and I personally believe most people have seen it for what it is, a bribe and don’t believe that anything has gotten better for it. I hope we punish this government for its dismissive views of those who voted for it last time.

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