Friday, November 09, 2007

"Yes, er well no, hang on, or sorry..."

Reports from the pre-recording of Nick Clegg's appearance on TV AM this Sunday suggest that he may just have blown a gasket in the leadership race
From PA we hear this,

"Mr Clegg said that the pupil premium policy would mean schools receiving an extra £2.5 billion, tied to the number of children from disadvantaged backgrounds they have. This would bring funding per head for the poorest pupils up to private school levels and give schools an incentive to attract children from low-income families.

Rather than parents being given the money in vouchers and choosing where to spend it, the premium would go direct to schools to pay for smaller class sizes, bonuses for teachers, one-on-one tuition or extended hours learning, he said.

Some £1.5 billion of the bill for the premium would be paid for by removing tax credits from parents on above average income, but Mr Clegg acknowledged that there was £1 billion "gap" which he had not yet decided how to fill.

Asked if the cash would come from taxing the better-off, he replied "Yes, er well no, hang on, or sorry..." before adding "I'm not fixed in my own mind about where that money would come from".

The Lib Dem home affairs spokesman said he expected some of the extra cash to come from cutting Government waste and bureaucratic duplication, but said he was
ready to be "creative" in finding ways to raise it.

He has already floated the idea of a 10% tax on non-domestic earnings of "non-domiciled" foreigners resident in the UK in order to raise £1 billion to cut council tax for households in the lowest-value properties, he pointed out.

Mr Clegg said he believed it would be possible to "break the stifling grip of two-party politics" in Britain within two general elections if he became leader.

Yeah go Nick, so the people who will suffer are those who are in work but cannot quite afford private education. And they will be taxed more for the privilege.

Priceless, a bit like his policy. What he obviously doesn't understand, apart from basic economics it appears, is that the ethos of the school is almost as important, if not definitively more important than the industrial quantities of cash poured down its gullet that he suggests.

If the money followed the child, by dint of giving the parents a voucher to spend where they see fit, then the results would be more than impressive.
Take a look at this recent publication 'School Choice' from Cato if you want to see why.

1 comment:

The Huntsman said...

You might want to update/follow up with this:

It seems that, if he follows through with this as leader, the Tories have little to fear in middle class seats.