The Home Computer Initiative is not dead yet

You wouldn't expect big corporate firms and the Trades Union Congress to stand firm against the present Labour government on a technical subject like Information Technology. This is exactly what happened when the TUC, Microsoft, Fujitsu Siemens and a number of firms have strongly criticized Gordon Brown's decision to axe the popular Home Computer Initiative (HCI) project.

The HCI was apparently binned because it led to a string of abuse whereby the loan obtained was used to buy luxury goods rather than IT equipment. The HCI actually provides a £1500 loan over a three year period, reimbursed through regular cuts through on your salary.

After complaints and a populist reaction from the conservative party - they set up an online petition to save the HCI, Gordon Brown has telephoned to the Confederation of British Industry director general Digby Jones and apparently confirmed that the HCI might come back, albeit in another form.

One option the Treasury might envisage would be to reduce the value of the loan. At the time of writing, you can get a Dual Core Computer with a Printer and a 19-inch LCD screen for less than £400. A zero percent interest loan stretched on 36 months would mean a £4 weekly repayment over a period of three years; if that's too much, well....