STUDENT activists set out a life-sized board game “with a student twist” in Westminster yesterday to highlight the financial strain the Tories have placed graduates under.
On the first of three days of direct action, their interactive protest allowed passers-by to “play” through a three-year undergraduate degree and calculate their debt at the end.
Next to the board sat several protesters in David Cameron masks playing poker.
Journalism student and Borrow The Future campaign spokeswoman Lauren Stanley explained: “As you go around the board, we’ve got all sorts of obstacles that are going to lose you money.
“The first one is rent and we’ve said about £5,000 a year. In London, where we are, it could cost a lot more.”
Players could pick up “chance” cards, awarding the occasional work-experience placement for instance, or deducting an extra £70 a week in rent for a rogue landlord.
The Star was invited to play and at the end of the game was left with a whopping £51,000 bill and low-paid job at McDonald’s (thanks to the job-hunting chance card).
First-year Middlesex University student Ms Stanley said that the date of their protest was not a chance decision.
“We want to raise awareness that the amount of debt that you are going to end up in is very much thanks to the government at the moment who are making cuts, cuts, cuts,” she said.
“It makes sense to have it on this [Budget] day where we are going to hear about more cuts and it affects us massively.”
Campaigners moved their board round central London, ending up in Parliament Square as Chancellor George Osborne announced the government’s new Budget.