Big Macs and cotton socks are the latest weapons in the war over cash for London colleges.
They feature in a letter from Eddie McIntyre, principal of the Birmingham College of Food, and 10 other college heads to the Further Education Funding Council.
Under plans due to be discussed by an FEFC committee, colleges in the capital could get an extra Pounds 1 million a year London weighting.
But the principals, who are all from the West Midlands, say: "A Big Mac in Oxford Street is sold for Pounds 1.84, the same price as in Paradise Forum in Birmingham. Similarly, three pairs of soft cotton socks are priced at Pounds 6.50 in both the Marble Arch branch and the central Birmingham branch of Marks and Spencer.
"The reason why these two organisations can hold their prices the same despite the fact that labour costs are higher in London is that they can generate economies of scale in London which defray these extra costs. The same argument should apply to London colleges."