A scary degree of debt for poor.
A damning report from the Sutton Trust shows students in England leave university with more debt than anywhere else in the English-speaking world. They now owe an average of PS44,000 on finishing, while Americans run up half that debt and Canadians a third of it.
And when maintenance grants are abolished this year, the poorest students will end up owing more than PS50,000. Or half the average price of a house in the North East. How many working-class parents will dissuade their kids from ending up in what to them is an unfathomable level of debt? How many well-off parents who already pay the average PS14,000-ayear public school fees will calculate that equates to PS44,000 over three years and tell junior to carry on climbing up the ladder untroubled.
This country's greatest structural problem is social mobility. Sadly, for those below the elite, it's also turned into its cruellest joke.