Is it just me or is nobody making enough noise about this?
Our lovely, caring, kind hearted, financially responsible and acutely fiscally aware Government has just sold £900m of student debt taken out by 250,00 students between 1990 and 1998 to a private debt collection agency for £160m.
250,000 people who desired the opportunity to advance themselves through further education but were possibly without the wherewithal to fund that education themselves having not been born into money, not from a lineage of landed gentry now no longer owe their borrowed money to the taxpayer that provided it as a long term investment but instead to a company that will almost undoubtedly find new and interesting ways to adjust the interest rate on the loans and entertaining methods to reclaim them in a much speedier manner than had been expected.
It's not exactly unknown for the Tories to sell off something that we own to private enterprise but this smacks of short termism even by our current coalition's usual level of ineptitude. A quick fix to bolster the coffers with a smaller amount rather than take a long term view of the potential for the full amount coming through over time but then time isn't something that this miserable Government has a great deal of.
We have now reached the absurd point where a party of privilege who had no worry about how their education, the quality of which far outstripped their natural abilities, would be funded are retroactively punishing poorer classes. Even in David Cameron's barely disguised class war this is a shocking development.
The argument could be made (were you right wing enough to sympathise with the cretins that are currently destroying the country) that only 14% of those having received loans are repaying them at the terms agreed as 40% are earning enough to repay but choosing not to while another 40% are earning below the repayment threshold; a better argument would be the country's inability to create sufficient employment of a level to spark that repayment. Job creation to spark economic revival by creating cash flow; a revolutionary new concept.
Apparently Erudio Student Loans has won the right to purchase the loan book through 'a competitive process'; they do love a competitive process, the Tories. Like the competitive process that sold off Royal Mail for a fraction of its value, like the competitive process that saw 1.5 billion pounds worth of healthcare contracts going to companies that had provided 1.5 million pounds worth of donations to Conservative central office. I'm not making any accusations just comparisons; I have no idea of Erudio's standing in terms of political donations but very little shocks me nowadays.
The finest description of this fiasco has come from those most affected by this move, the National Union Of Students who described the latest Tory tax burden on those less likely to afford it (rather than, say, multinationals who avoid tax or banks who continue to cause untold damage to the economy through avarice) as "the public subsidising a private company making a profit from public debt."
You couldn't make it up.
But Cameron and his expensively educated multi millionaire chums continue to do so and continue to get away with it.
And nobody is talking about it.
Time to start.