Wednesday, April 28, 2010

A Point of Clarification about the Olympic bursary

When I suggested that there should be a $200 million BC Olympic bursary, I wasn't just suggesting (in the middle of a deep recession) that an additional $200 million in taxes be raised for my favourite spending priority. This was also an argument about spending existing funding more effectively. The number of $200 million corresponds to my rough calculation about what it would take to bring the BC's average student debt load down to the national average. The kind of support--tied demand-side subsidies to students--was based on my analysis of the relative strengths and weaknesses of vouchers, grants to universities and tuition freezes as alternative policy instruments.

What if $50 million could be found in other existing government outlays, including existing universities funding? And if another $50 million could be found from the federal government? That would only leave $100 million of additional spending to found out of rising resource revenues and plugged tax loopholes. If $200 million will close the access gap for the 100,000 neediest full-time studentsover four years, then a mere $25 million will close half the gap for a single year.

Any takers?

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