Two weeks ago I sent the Prime Minister an open letter about the disgraceful retrospective hike in student loans. Those who started university since 2012 currently repay 9% of everything earned above £21,000 - this threshold was supposed to rise annually from 2017, but the Government has now frozen it.
A maintenance grant provided me with hope and confidence that I did belong at university. Without the grant, I would never have entertained the prospective of university. This government seems hell bent on severely restricting the options of minority groups and reinforcing the stereotype that only the privilege should attend university.
Scrapping maintenance grants is a desperate attempt by Osborne to find savings wherever he can because as a Chancellor he has failed consistently to meet any target he has ever set himself. This proposed saving of £1.57billion is a drop in the ocean compared to our £1.5trillion worth of debt that has increased under Osborne's time as Chancellor. Again Osborne has pound signs in his eyes with no idea of the actual worth.
As you may be aware, I have engaged lawyers who are currently looking at whether this change can be challenged legally. Yet this is just as much a moral issue as a legal one. A retrospective change will destroy any trust current and future generations can have in the student finance system, and perhaps, even more widely, in the political system as a whole.
Grants designed to support students from the poorest backgrounds through university will be abolished today, but if you plan to tune in to BBC Parliament to watch a fiery political exchange you'll be sorely disappointed. There will be no Commons debate, no Commons vote and no sign of the mass demonstrations that shook the government that chose to treble university tuition fees five years ago... The government's behaviour is underhand and undemocratic. The poorest students will lose out as a result, making the policy unfair. Students, and the general public, should not stand for it.
We shouldn't expect poorer students are expected to pay more for the privilege to study. It isn't fair to shackling our young people with increasing amount of debt. Surely we looking to build a funding system for higher education that accessible and recognises the social benefits of education for all.
The current set-up goes easiest on those at the extremes - those from the lowest or highest income backgrounds while, across the board, there's increasingly disparity. Removing Grants raises as many questions as it answers, but is more in tune with daily student hardship than anything else on offer.
Educational maintenance grants are just one measure that have helped unlock the doors of higher education for many - they provide the opportunity for every student to start on a near-equal footing. But this government has perniciously just swiped away that opportunity, and is going to destroy the aspirations of future generations.
While most of the focus is understandably on the rise of cost of student loans, the financial struggles for university students is just as important. When a student is paying up to £9,000 a year to go to university, the pressure is on them to ensure they walk away with a qualification. When they cannot afford to pay for rent or food, it is likely that the stress will impact their studies - especially if their parents cannot assist them in any way.
This could have been a good budget and one I would have welcomed, were it not for two announcements that made me see red: the pledge to scrap the Student Maintenance Grant and proposals to force lone parents of three and four year olds into work through the extension of the childcare voucher scheme.