Tuition fees vote in the Lords


So that was that.  After suffering a massive defeat on the Public Bodies Bill at 5pm (by 122), the Government comfortably won the vote on pushing through their tuition fee policy.

As in the Commons the Tories couldn’t have done it without the Libdems, and the public are right to feel some anger at them over turning their election pledge.  Jokes like “Why did Nick Clegg cross the road?  Because he promised not to” are very popular.

What was also instructive, given my last blog, was that the issue of convention was Lord Henley when introducing the debate for the Government.  There were some on the Labour benches who were very unhappy that the unelected chamber was challenging the Commons, but not many.  We knew that even if we lost we had a duty to the public to oppose something many felt so strongly about, that a regulation was being used to change policy, and there was no mandate for this policy.

I am only sorry we couldn’t persuade enough to win the vote.

19 comments for “Tuition fees vote in the Lords

  1. Carl.H
    15/12/2010 at 10:30 am

    I`ll try Lord Knight as Lord Tyler seems unable to publish this:

    As a Parent.

    My 4 girls are all above average intelligence, the youngest probably more so than the rest, she is 9 nearly 10.

    Last night`s vote made sure that she will not ever be going to University. No parent, and it is parents who have the most influence in these matters, would see their child saddled with a £70,000 + millstone around their neck. £30 k + University fees + RPI and at least another 30-40k living costs.

    No one can be happy living in debt, people accept it in the form of property buying but that`s not to say they like it or are happy about the long term debt.

    I am reminded of Lord Norton`s post on his blog where he was dug out of the snow by neighbours and I believe a stranger. He didn`t like it, why ? Because he felt indebted.

    Parents in poorer families who believe that their children should be happy first and foremost will not accept this debt for them. University education has been once again put beyond the poor.

    As an elector.

    I watched the complete debate last evening with dismay, what a waste of time. The motions were already carried, minds made up as has been the case a lot of times. The partisan element of the House makes it superfluous to needs, perhaps the money can be spent on education.

    Over the last year or so of looking at our system and the way it works I have decided I will never vote again. The people in the system are liars, hypocrites and corrupt. The whole of our system is based on the old boys network. The banks are supported by Government, they ensure that people are compulsed to do business with such enterprises who do not charge fair rates but are only interested in profits.

    The same can be said with the Digital Economy Act, entertainment for centuries was a beggars art until business got hold of it. Now at risk of criminalising millions of young the Government back the corrupt business.

    I have seen peers complain about the change to allowances which was very little, I`ve seen them not take voting seriously or even look at the issues. I know a couple at least will have found me possibly impudent but I speak my mind and say what I see. Live with it, earn my respect. I have seen others here who know how to play the consumer by being quiet about contentious issues.

    Over and over it is spoken of reform but it is not reform that is required, it is revolution. None of the parties are representative of the people and where they are they are representing the corruption, the I`m alright Jack or the oldboys network.

    The one thing about Islam and other religions is they promote the concept that debt, borrowing and lending is wrong because it brings about unhappiness. Western governments promote debt and so unhappiness. The people are enslaved to the banks and therefore spend a life of drudgery working for a never ending debt. It`s a form of Control, Thatcher realised this when she sold people houses, that they already had paid for with taxes. Cameron now too realises this, Clegg sold out the only opportunity his party had of proving his words and being honest.

    What occured last night was wrong, you can argue it was the better option but like the coming referendum perhaps there was not enough options. My youngest won`t be attending University, the amount of debt and unhappiness is not an option.

    • 15/12/2010 at 1:07 pm

      Carl H: would you feel the same way if the system being introduced was a graduate tax, payable for 30 years after graduation, of 9% of salary above a £21,000 threshold?

      • Lord Blagger
        15/12/2010 at 3:24 pm

        Why should you pay an open ended price or a price relating to income?

        Do you pay Tesco’s 9% of salary for food?

  2. Carl.H
    15/12/2010 at 10:34 am

    Also the fact the Lib-Dems lied again.

    Lord Ashdown of Norton-sub-Hamdon

    “The first is directed-fairly or unfairly, you may think-particularly at the Liberal Democrats, and was raised by the noble Lord, Lord Patten: “Why do you not honour your election pledges?”. Let us put it in the stronger terms used outside this place: “Why are you betraying the promise that you made to us?”. Let us for a moment examine that promise. It was a promise that if there was a Liberal Democrat Government, we would then seek to get rid of tuition fees.”

    Which given photgraphic evidence is a bare faced lie :

  3. 15/12/2010 at 10:56 am

    Did the lib-dems Lords sign the tuition fee pledge? Also the only reason we required lib-dem support is because the labour government filled the Lords with labour loyalist

    • lordknight
      15/12/2010 at 3:47 pm

      Symon, unlike every previous Tory government we never had a majority in the Lords when in Government. We always had to find consensus in the Lords – that is a good thing for Parliament and is pretty much lost now as the PM packs the Lords with more of his people.

      • Croft
        16/12/2010 at 3:48 pm

        Labour enjoyed 40+ seats on the Tories before the election. After the new peers (27 Tory, 15 LD but 10 new Labour) the net gain for the government is less than implied. Insofar as T+LD = 72 more than Labour it still leaves them well short of an absolute majority if you can persuade the XBs to vote with you. Though on past history the last labour government lost many of its votes by the failure to get its own peers to turn up rather than the opposition’s strength

    15/12/2010 at 11:59 am

    Yes, and Great that the Tory coalition was defeated earlier re the abolition of the Chief Coroner:

    Continual defeats demoralise.

  5. Senex
    15/12/2010 at 12:39 pm

    CH: You’re ‘breaking’ the blogs terms and conditions by posting some 615 words when the limit is suggested but not limited to 250 words. You can always break posts into a serialisation of parts? Feel free to have a pop at me if you feel I have strayed along these lines which of course I do on occasion.

  6. Carl.H
    15/12/2010 at 12:54 pm

    Sorry Senex and all else, as a rule being a working class person I didn`t read the rules….I wait for someone to shout. 😉

    You`re quite right to admonish me, apologies.

    At least he didn`t mention my appalling grammar. 😉

    • Senex
      15/12/2010 at 4:06 pm

      CH: “as a rule being a working class person I didn`t read the rules”. I only read them because JSDM once did. As for being working class you need to consider yourself classless at least here on the blog. Everybody else is 😉

      Out of interest I notice you use the back apostrophe ” ` ” a lot in your posts which suggests a Linux connection. Its more usual to use the forward version “ ‘ “ in written work. Why is this?

      As for grammar many in the house, in a private capacity, are self-employed consultants earning a living from what they write down. I don’t think it would impress their clients if bad grammar or spelling accompanied a fee of anywhere between 500 to 3000 or more per day?

  7. Senex
    15/12/2010 at 1:18 pm

    University education is no longer about education per se but about jobs or the road-map to better paid employment. It is a limitation of the political process and one that is millennia old.

    How many plum jobs are there?

    What has happened is that the supply of people chasing such jobs has far outstripped the jobs available on a merit basis. The political process has therefore been one of encouraging employers to take on employee graduates to fill roles that did not warrant a university education.

    This eventually becomes part of the culture where to obtain a better paid job one must have a university degree. This is certainly the case in the Commons which now believes in its own illusion. Universities in order to survive must be in receipt of funding from this political process to keep the fantasy going.

    University education MUST be about education not jobs.

    All of this is very personal and the electorate is working something not in their best interest. They allow the right to fill Treasury coffers under ‘harsh’ management and when the right starts to crow about it they allow the left to spend it by distribution within the economy. The time scale for this process is measured in generations.

    What is missing from our political process is the HoL moderating Commons spending when the left prevails and limiting the harshness when the right prevails. Until the HoL can once again exercise legitimate power everybody is going to loose.

  8. Lord Blagger
    15/12/2010 at 1:26 pm

    Last night`s vote made sure that she will not ever be going to University. No parent, and it is parents who have the most influence in these matters, would see their child saddled with a £70,000 + millstone around their neck. £30 k + University fees + RPI and at least another 30-40k living costs.

    But Carl, she will have the debt under the current system and under the new system.

    In the current system, the government just takes it out for her.

    There is no change under the old or the new to the actual cost of education.

    • Carl.H
      15/12/2010 at 2:58 pm

      “But Carl, she will have the debt under the current system and under the new system.”

      Under this system I can see what I, in terms of debt, and my daughter more importantly would be looking at.

      I have stated elsewhere that like the referendum the options are not there. It was either with or against. It wasn`t scrutinised to an degree and the scrutiny I find it did have was wrong information given to the IFS so they concluded better than the actual case.

      I now find The Student Loan Company Limited is or has been sold off to the private sector, which obviously makes it a profitable venture.

      I have looked at the Browne Report reckoner and repayments cannot be made head nor tail of as a noble Baroness stated clearly in the debate.

      I`m a simple working class person, I will admit I struggle at times, compared to others here who know the workings of parliament but I`m not stupid. No working class parent I know of would put their name willy nilly to a £70k loan and that is how it presents.

      From what I can perceive of now a possibly private limited company will put up the loan and collect RPI linked interest for 30 years. The Government or should I say HMRC will still take out as much tax as normal including a higher rate when salary prescribes. So a student will pay a possibly private company for their education and the Government because of that education.

      So let me get this straight, if we can get a Council house we cannot necessarily stay there, the rent will be as high as the private sector and our children have no chance of higher education. Sorry when does MP`s pay go up ?

      As a working class person do you think I would put my name to a 30 year £70k loan ? OK so you say the repayments may not be that much and it`s 30 years….But the evidence says things change, Governments change so do policies. Sorry can`t trust you on that.

      • Lord Blagger
        15/12/2010 at 4:53 pm

        Well to put it in context, every house hold in the UK has 300,000 pounds of government debts to pay off, with interest.

        ie. Government has screwed it up. They are now sitting in the Lords as a nice little earner.

  9. Carl.H
    15/12/2010 at 3:24 pm

    “Got that? The system proposed by the government is progressive.

    But then the paragraph continues, “By decile of parental income, graduates from the poorest 30% of households would pay back less than under Lord Browne’s proposed system, but more than under the current system.”

    In other words, by this measure the new system will be worse for poor students than the current system. That is going to hurt the government.”

    “But it will be hard for opponents to make much of the possibility of universities turning poor students away as they will have to reach targets for widening participation if they want to charge over £6,000 a year for fees. Presumably those access agreements will remedy the perverse incentive.”

    • Lord Blagger
      15/12/2010 at 4:54 pm

      “Got that? The system proposed by the government is progressive.


      Which means they want the students to take the risk. The students to pay off their loans. The students if succesful, to also have the benefits of that risk and investment taken away.

      That’s what progressive means. It means we are going to penalise you for taking the risk.

  10. Carl.H
    15/12/2010 at 4:12 pm

    Let`s get rid of the paying less myth too:

    “Under our new more progressive repayment system, around a quarter of graduates, those with the lowest lifetime earnings, will pay less than under the current system.”

    So 75% will pay more.

    There appears a lot of confusion with this not just amongst the commentators but also the members of the House. Another rushed mess ?

  11. Carl.H
    16/12/2010 at 10:15 am

    A child – yes a child – when contemplating going to University is 16-17, not old enough to vote, drink or get a mortgage. The decision in itself is monumental and the Government are stating quite clearly they must commit to a possible £70k+ loan.

    No parent in their right mind who loved their child, who understood teens would or could commit them to that.

    In the link above from Government it states only 25% of students will pay less than the old scheme, which isn`t what has been bandied about.

    I have warned about politicians filling Parliament and especially the HoL. They are car salesmen, they tell lies, they don`t keep pledges or oaths. The Commons want to fix the system so the electorate have faith in it again and how do they intend to do that ? By reforming the Lords ! Do they believe we are stupid ? Really ! You pile the Lords high in your favour and tell us it is them that are wrong. There are a few expletives that come to mind !

    The electorate know the choices and they are do you want us to bend over or on all fours either way we vote we`re shafted. Where is the integrity in Parliament ? I`ve heard blatant lies from both Houses and I`m fuming. Where is the honesty, the common sense ?

    The tution fee`s were passed, my clever 9 year old is stuffed as far as having Uni as an option and I go back to thinking everything especially the Government is stacked against us. And very soon the laughable thing is they`ll be talking about equality again. Isn`t that what we used to say about communism ? Everyone is equal except for me who is more equal.

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