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  • FIRST POST
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 16th May 17, 11:56 PM
    • 1,282Posts
    • 534Thanks
    agarnett
    Mobilise and motivate - abolish Student Loans with Labour
    • #1
    • 16th May 17, 11:56 PM
    Mobilise and motivate - abolish Student Loans with Labour 16th May 17 at 11:56 PM
    I have never been a political party member but their manifesto is the one I'll be voting for without question.

    It is an enormous change when one of the two big parties in UK comes out and says they will abolish student loans and thereby model themselves on eight European countries who do not charge tuition fees. I never dreamt there was a possibility I'd ever see it happen. Sad to say it'll be too late for my kids who are both saddled with tens of thousands of debt now, unless their debt can be forgiven.

    So what do we think about it, and how should it affect those unfairly saddled with existing student loans?
    Last edited by agarnett; 16-05-2017 at 11:58 PM.
Page 1
    • unforeseen
    • By unforeseen 17th May 17, 7:09 AM
    • 1,670 Posts
    • 2,109 Thanks
    unforeseen
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 7:09 AM
    • #2
    • 17th May 17, 7:09 AM
    I take the money to cover this will come from the pot that they keep at the end of the rainbow?
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 17th May 17, 2:00 PM
    • 18,413 Posts
    • 14,129 Thanks
    agrinnall
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 2:00 PM
    • #3
    • 17th May 17, 2:00 PM
    You do know that it was Labour that introduced fees and loans in the first place, don't you? And that Jeremy Corbyn was a Labour MP at that time (although it's likely that he voted against)? There's no chance that any electable Labour party would scrap fees and loans, the best you could hope for would be a reduction to the levels that applied before they were raised by the Tory/Lib Dem coalition.
    • WibblyGirly
    • By WibblyGirly 17th May 17, 3:37 PM
    • 199 Posts
    • 388 Thanks
    WibblyGirly
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 3:37 PM
    • #4
    • 17th May 17, 3:37 PM
    What about those of use who have paid the £9K and will have it taken out of our pay? Will that be written off so I can be in the same position of those after me? Or will I just have to suck up and keep paying whilst knowing others get the same thing for free?
    I personally thing the rabbit is out the hat and I don't think fees will be abolished. Maybe just reduced slightly.
    • IAmWales
    • By IAmWales 17th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • 1,202 Posts
    • 2,551 Thanks
    IAmWales
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 3:45 PM
    • #5
    • 17th May 17, 3:45 PM
    I take the money to cover this will come from the pot that they keep at the end of the rainbow?
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    The policies have been costed, if you take the time to read the manifesto you can check them out yourself.

    Much of the financing will come from higher taxation on high earners and corporations. Corporation tax would still be the lowest of any G7 country, so not a disincentive to investment. I wouldn't object to increased tax on high earners for the simple fact that for the past seven years every cost cutting measure has hit those on low and middle incomes hardest, so it's time for others to shoulder some of the burden.
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 17th May 17, 3:53 PM
    • 4,344 Posts
    • 5,653 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 3:53 PM
    • #6
    • 17th May 17, 3:53 PM
    How do you feel about helping me to pay for my house? Not up for that?

    How do you feel about contributing towards my private pension? No?

    Why do you think its ok for people to contribute towards your kids choice of career? (actually its education not the career ill be amazed if more than 50% of students end up working in their field of academia. but thats by the by.)

    So Dave, son of Jim, starts working at 18 on minimum wage. Pays his tax does a good job and does that for ever! Can you explain how it is fair that Dave, son of Jim, should pay for your childs choices when the likelihood is he will earn less over his career, have a shorter life, work longer and more than likely in a more physically demanding job.

    Looking forward to your response.
    Don't be angry!
    • spadoosh
    • By spadoosh 17th May 17, 4:07 PM
    • 4,344 Posts
    • 5,653 Thanks
    spadoosh
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 4:07 PM
    • #7
    • 17th May 17, 4:07 PM
    The policies have been costed, if you take the time to read the manifesto you can check them out yourself.

    Much of the financing will come from higher taxation on high earners and corporations. Corporation tax would still be the lowest of any G7 country, so not a disincentive to investment. I wouldn't object to increased tax on high earners for the simple fact that for the past seven years every cost cutting measure has hit those on low and middle incomes hardest, so it's time for others to shoulder some of the burden.
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    Univesities will cost 783 pence. I will charge vat on private schools (132 pence) and tax rich folk (651 pence)..... see we've costed it!


    £13,200,000. There you go, ive just costed my dream house.... now where is it?

    Corp tax has been low during a time when weve implemented quite a lot in terms of business law. Like the workplace pension, living wage, non government funded sick and parental leave. The business i work for by the time everything is costed and youve deducted corporation tax at the ~26% the business owner wouldnt be on a much bigger wage than me. All well and good attacking starbucks et al, most businesses arent starbucks though.

    Dont get me wrong i quite like the idea of all tax being through business, basically no personal tax liabilities, sounds idyllic.

    And contrary to your last statement, never have i been richer. For the first time in my working life i have actually seen real wage growth unless you consider my £17.5k wage to be in the higher income bracket?

    This government is the first government ive had that i think has actually considered me, a distinctly average person. Again, all well and good talking about the poor, rich and disabled but most people arent poor, rich or disabled.
    Last edited by spadoosh; 17-05-2017 at 4:11 PM.
    Don't be angry!
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 17th May 17, 9:06 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    agarnett
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 9:06 PM
    • #8
    • 17th May 17, 9:06 PM
    Hi spadoosh,

    I had to read your posts a couple of times before I could decide where in the frame you are. So you are hardworking and you think the conservatives have considered you? Yes you are right. They have considered how they can keep you down at that stupidly low wage and keep you voting for them.

    I would double your wages immediately. Then instead of hardly paying any tax I would halve your personal allowance and bring you into belonging again to that great army of hardworkers who actually pay for infrastructure and NHS and justice.

    Receiving a shamefully low wage and being one of the Tory's "taken out of tax altogether or nearas dammit" does you no good and the country no good and your kids and their kids no good. You earn every penny of your wage twice over, but they halve that and tell you you've been a good boy so will keep your tax down next year too ... what kind of message is that? A no hope message is what.

    I come from a long line of agricultural labourers. Men who walked up and down fields from dawn till dusk behind horses until they dropped - most never got near retirement or owning a house. I too have worked from dawn to dusk in the fields using my brawn and a little bit of brain. I learned how to create things and fix things and feel satisfied with a job well done. Then I moved onwards and upwards a bit. Not a Yuppie in the worse sense - I never did drugs or got drunk and waved wads shouting !!loadsamoney!! except in the safety of my own living room among mates on my birthdays and using monopoly notes!

    I am not rich, but I am educated and I am travelled a bit. I see other European economies that thankfully are still much more honest than hours. There is a much narrower wage gap between top bosses and the lowest workers, and no class barriers, such that they all go to the same street parties regularly whether they are dustmen or chief execs. Working men generally all wear proper work overalls which are paid for and cleaned at work ... they don't get expected to ruin their own clothes and train seats on the way home if they are painters and decorators, for example. Labour is respected. So should yours be, first by paying you twice as much!

    In better balanced parts of Europe I see shelfstackers paid twice what Tescos pays, even before the employee is aged 18. And I see almost everyone (including voting teenagers) involved and proud to be involved in paying tax to build their countries into proud entities. They even pay tax on the maintenance grants they get alongside their free university tuition for the part that exceeds £6K a year. It's a good habit to learn how to belong and to contribute. Even their soldiers in some parts of Europe are in many cases far more mature, resorceful and cool-minded than ours. And well equipped too, but they don't try to build a bloody economy based on financial services and selling weapons to the Saudis. How skewed is that? They fight alongside our special forces and are respected, but they are paid twice as much.

    Why twice as much? Why are you paid a pittance? I know what is like. The last job I had I was paid a pittance too. Half what I was earning twenty years earlier. Why? Ask yourself what has happened?

    Ask yourself is your boss clever enough to run a business in 2017? Or is he like the hill farmers who can't survive without subsidies? Uneducated and a simple man who only knows how to graft with his hands like all my ancestors? I have big hands. I graft with them more as a hobby now. I'm a big bloke - still strong at 60.

    I am also lucky. My free university education accelerated me into a modest business career and in those days it qualified me for a proper pension. Without those days, which corresponded with strong unions for collective bargaining, I'd have had nothing for my old age. Thatcher smashed our unions to pieces. It was no fault of the labour movement per se, other than the fact that moderates became fearful to speak up, partly because they didn't want a mounted police truncheon across their cranium.

    The European countries I have alluded to do as it happens have strong and responsible unions. It is no coincidence. They are respected for what they do. They even are the conduit for significant welfare benefits and some pensions. They especially uphold workers rights, and if Ryanair's model was still based on wrecking working conditions and paying the lowest wages the they would not be flying in because they'd be drummed out by good men and true.

    They also have coalitions which bloody well work. Torys tell lies about working together - that's what coalition means. It doesn't mean chaos unless they deliberately make it so as saboteurs.

    Education is the key to moving on - not teaching your children to copy what you did, but trying to nurture them as best you know how on how to go one better, and pick up the good from everyone they meet and embrace it to make themselves more rounded than us. And I don't mean nick the goods from everyone they meet in order to make their own fat bellies more rounded which is what so many do in the City and elsewhere!

    Are you a good man? I think you are. So am I. My two kids could have gone to European universities with free tuition fees ... any number of them. They could have skipped university of course and got themselves a "trade" in the old parlance. They instead went to English universities and have incurred enormous loan balances in the current scheme. They are saddled with a 9% extra tax for every penny over £21,000pa they earn as a result.

    They are brilliant briliant young people because they are people people, not spoiled brats with no work ethic. They are young leaders. They are not afraid to speak in public. I have no idea how the brilliance and optimism still shines through with those stupid soon to be privatised horrible loan balances round their necks and the thought they have to pay that 9% more tax for 30 bloody years. I have no idea how they will vote in this election, but they studied economics before university so they are not conned by politicians. I do know how they voted in the referendum. My daughter is very independent minded.
    I haven't been able to tell her anything for quite a while! She believes strongly in in education and freedom of movement, and for a young person she has already been giving back voluntarily with her time in encouraging other young people in education and the world of opportunity. She was so angry with the Brexit result. She could not believe we have so many misguided voters.

    The starting salaries for my two fantastic kids were no better than yours, yet they have enormously responsible jobs. My son manages a whole team of Daves sons of Jim and they like the cut of his jib even though he's young. They are also hardworking with manual skills that take intelligent people years to accumulate, and being in UK they are of course also underpaid like he is. Both my kids learned about science and maths and they are applying it in ways which from their position in specialised teams keep us all safe, but again in this stupid low wage low tax economy, like you they are being terribly exploited and haven't a hope in hell of buying a house before they are 40 unless they hit some unexpected jackpot.

    It shouldn't be like that. You shouldn't be extolling the virtues of earning £17.5K and being proud of a boss that pays you that. It's a non-business based on uneducated ideas. Its going nowhere. Do you want all the kids to go nowhere too?

    Please don't deny them the chance of a university education like it is some bloody luxury. It is no such thing. It is a right.

    You surely can see that? If a university education is a personal luxury that shouldn't be available as a right, then you might as well agree that your flat screen tv and your smartphone should only be available to you for £10,000 apiece. You do have a flat screen tv I take it? And a smartphone? Why do you think they exist? Why are they so cheap? You think you have a right to cheap Chinese junk to play Candy Crush and text your Mum and watch the footie when you know that it takes a higher education to know how it works? Yes of course you've the right, but get a balance, man. Those things were designed by brillant educated minds who were once uneducated kids. They didn't choose. They just hoped! Don't take away hope.

    Maybe you can't take a flat screen tv apart or a smartphone and fix it if it has gone on the blink, but my kids probably could, and it isn't their job - they just know stuff - they know if stuff adds up and they know if stuff is likely to work again.

    Currently I am unlikely to work again, so's you'd notice, beyond a bit of manual labour, and currently the UK economy doesn't add up for either you or me or our kids or your boss. It adds up for the Torys.

    Vote to bloody well change it, not for more of the stupid Britich class system and keeping the workers in their place by giving them shiney bead to play with ... Gawd luv us!

    PS Tonight I did two things I have never ever done before - I contributed a donation to 38 degrees in their campaign to get everyone out to vote on 8 June in order to restore a properly functioning democracy in UK, and I contributed to a political party that had the brains enough to email me today as one of the many and make it easy for millions of us to donate.

    Torys and Michael Ashcroft eat your hearts out.

    Students and all hardgrafting people vote Labour on 8 June and do make sure no one you know forgets to vote. If you have been lucky and wise enough to get a higher education, you should know it makes sense. A proper UK democracy depends upon it.
    Last edited by agarnett; 17-05-2017 at 9:50 PM.
    • muddymouse
    • By muddymouse 21st Jun 17, 7:16 PM
    • 77 Posts
    • 433 Thanks
    muddymouse
    • #9
    • 21st Jun 17, 7:16 PM
    • #9
    • 21st Jun 17, 7:16 PM
    How do you feel about helping me to pay for my house? Not up for that?

    How do you feel about contributing towards my private pension? No?

    Why do you think its ok for people to contribute towards your kids choice of career? (actually its education not the career ill be amazed if more than 50% of students end up working in their field of academia. but thats by the by.)

    So Dave, son of Jim, starts working at 18 on minimum wage. Pays his tax does a good job and does that for ever! Can you explain how it is fair that Dave, son of Jim, should pay for your childs choices when the likelihood is he will earn less over his career, have a shorter life, work longer and more than likely in a more physically demanding job.

    Looking forward to your response.
    Originally posted by spadoosh
    Because, as a society, we need teachers and nurses and lawyers, all of which are graduate careers. So when Dave's children need an education or when Dave needs NHS care, he will have contributed towards the high quality services he/his children receive.

    Does this really seem unfair to you?

    agarnett - What an intelligent, well informed post from someone who the Tories pretend to care for (a self made businessman). I bet your kids are very proud of you.
    Last edited by muddymouse; 21-06-2017 at 7:21 PM.



    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 22nd Jun 17, 10:35 AM
    • 35,869 Posts
    • 151,038 Thanks
    silvercar
    Because, as a society, we need teachers and nurses and lawyers, all of which are graduate careers. So when Dave's children need an education or when Dave needs NHS care, he will have contributed towards the high quality services he/his children receive.

    Does this really seem unfair to you?

    agarnett - What an intelligent, well informed post from someone who the Tories pretend to care for (a self made businessman). I bet your kids are very proud of you.
    Originally posted by muddymouse
    In the 80s and possibly later, you didn't need a degree to be a nurse or a teacher.

    On the OPs first post, the liberal's also promised to abolish tuition fees and that disappeared quickly when they smelt the whiff of power. Don't believe every promise made.
    • Ryanfuego
    • By Ryanfuego 22nd Jun 17, 10:50 AM
    • 20 Posts
    • 11 Thanks
    Ryanfuego
    Situation's really horrible. When I was a student I have had a deal with student loan and yeah at first it seemed to be easy issue to pay for but it's not that easy as it seems. I don't really know what the government should do with it, because everybody's giving a promises but nobody's keeping their word.
    • Voyager2002
    • By Voyager2002 22nd Jun 17, 3:45 PM
    • 11,572 Posts
    • 7,826 Thanks
    Voyager2002
    agarnett - What an intelligent, well informed post from someone who the Tories pretend to care for (a self made businessman). I bet your kids are very proud of you.
    Originally posted by muddymouse
    Yes, absolutely. A delight to read.
    • surfsister
    • By surfsister 22nd Jun 17, 7:37 PM
    • 7,214 Posts
    • 10,686 Thanks
    surfsister
    I take the money to cover this will come from the pot that they keep at the end of the rainbow?
    Originally posted by unforeseen
    no labour will just saddle us with a few more billions in debt borrowed to sweeten the electorate
    • surfsister
    • By surfsister 22nd Jun 17, 7:38 PM
    • 7,214 Posts
    • 10,686 Thanks
    surfsister
    The policies have been costed, if you take the time to read the manifesto you can check them out yourself.

    Much of the financing will come from higher taxation on high earners and corporations. Corporation tax would still be the lowest of any G7 country, so not a disincentive to investment. I wouldn't object to increased tax on high earners for the simple fact that for the past seven years every cost cutting measure has hit those on low and middle incomes hardest, so it's time for others to shoulder some of the burden.
    Originally posted by IAmWales
    higher tax just sends higher earners away it happened last time labour overtaxed the wealthy. what we should be doing is getting firms like googlw/amazon etc to pay tax
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 9th Jul 17, 2:16 AM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    agarnett
    I am sorry I had not returned to this thread, because although I hoped I might strike a chord when I created it and when I last posted at length, I had not realised until tonight that maybe I did hit the spot for some readers.

    I have returned because I am troubled by some new observations:
    1. I attended a STEM course graduation ceremony at a Russell Group uni recently for a batch of around 300 new graduates and was frankly gobsmacked by the (dis)proportion of apparently Chinese graduates, and also by the number of apparently Chinese relatives who had secured best seats, and who were around the university long after the ceremony framing photographed keepsakes in front of the most impressive traditional buildings and other architectural pieces and institutional symbols.
    2. The large procession party of academics sat before us was entirely white Caucasian, many of whom either exhibited what I thought appeared as over pompous, down-their-noses type expressions, whilst nodding agreement to their superiors' every word about how excellent the institution was with liberal sprinklings of the various KPI/league table rankings, or at the other extreme, a "seen-it-all-before/do-I-really-have-to-sit-through-all this" disinterest to the extent that I was at one point very, very tempted to take an easy photograph of a column of three faces one behind the other, two with eyes closed and the other looking bored stiff.
    3. I noticed a great deal of new construction and major refurbishment had started in the summer break and because cladding had been removed I could see what looked like pretty appalling corrosion of existing buildings.
    4. Whilst at the event, I was told that if a recent English graduate who already borrowed for their first degree from SFE, immediately takes a UK post graduate course starting the very next semester after graduating with a Bachelors e.g. starts a Masters, and takes an SFE loan to pay for it, then that will mean that upon starting work, the loan payment isn't 9% of gross salary above £21K, but nearer 15%. I couldn't believe that. I'm horrified if it is true.
    5. I also think that I have seen suggestion recently that if graduates take up teaching, they can in some cases/some subjects get their Student Loan written off?

    Frankly the first observation led to a lightbulb moment; the second suggested rightly or wrongly to me that in some institutions, neither the staff demographic nor the student demographic are at all properly reflective of our country's taxpayers' needs or best interests, and may even suggest some people are getting complacent in their university staffer jobs. Instead the staffer demographic on display might more closely have reflected the country's demographic of at least one generation or maybe two ago - how could that have happened - has it stood still?; the third suggested a lot of money is being spent quickly with some lucky preferred construction and refurbishment firms - I somewhat cynically expect they have been led to know who they are - whilst conversely, those responsible for mismanagement of maintenance budgets in the past probably still don't know who they are as they have never been challenged; one also wonders who will actually derive most benefit from the new building? Will prices to overseas students rise once the buildings are sparkling again?; the fourth horrified me as I have already said; and the fifth observation if true, reflects a policy which I think is plain wrong - although I do wonder if muddymouse might disagree as teachers have been mentioned up front by muddymouse as a special group whom we need to grow by providing free university tuition.

    The lightbulb moment was the realisation that we must surely be under-pricing our university courses to overseas students, else why would there be such a ridiculously high proportion of Chinese students on what most people agree are our strongest courses? And where were the Chinese rocket scientists amongst the staffers? If our universities are truly international globally leading institutions, then shouldn't they also be learning from and engaging senior Chinese academics rather than possibly contenting themselves with the level of interaction that results from say, a two-generations-old unchanged staffer demographic who make smalltalk with undergraduate Chinese (one per family) children of China's local and national government officials who don't seem short of a bob or two, about what it's like at school in China pre-university?

    Student exchange is one thing at a modest level, as I believe does exist to an extent, but surely we should by now have an almost Star Trek type demographic amongst the teaching staff at our best universities ? I think we do at a few, but the one I attended recently looked very skewed in the other direction.


    That realisation is, in my view of the world, both reflective of likely further evidence of incompetent marketing and pricing of English university courses to overseas students, and of inability or cultural staleness in promoting to, and recruiting from a wider pool of the best academics available - a pool which surely should by now include expert academics from countries like China, not just smart undergrads?

    It perhaps also implies a pervasive lazy reliance at some universities on the guaranteed flow now of income derived from minimum tuition fees to our own national students, which in large part resulted from universities crying to our last few consecutive incompetent governments that English universities were grossly underfunded. Grossly mismanaged , I shouldn't wonder, with little clue these days on how to sell themselves and the institutions they claim to be so proud to represent. Sure they can roll out a bit of quaint British pageantry of the type tourists mop up without quite knowing why, and they can laud their own positions in selected league tables to imply what the punters want to hear. However, if their promotion doesn't extend much beyond the above, and if they don't have the gumption to sell themselves at a price befitting the purported greatness, it doesn't sound to me quite like the sort of well-oiled unstoppable first class machine that people like Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson would have us believe it still is. Who do you think you are kidding Mr Johnson?

    In short, the Student Loan Scheme looks to be a very short-sighted sticking plaster solution to long term university business mismanagement which favours the families of exceptionally privileged overseas students way above our own normal students and their families, and, just like the City, it is a heavily lobbied gravy train to most that hold down jobs in the sector.

    Or am I being too cynical?
    Last edited by agarnett; 09-07-2017 at 3:10 AM.
    • Ed-1
    • By Ed-1 9th Jul 17, 11:04 AM
    • 1,976 Posts
    • 1,057 Thanks
    Ed-1
    I am sorry I had not returned to this thread, because although I hoped I might strike a chord when I created it and when I last posted at length, I had not realised until tonight that maybe I did hit the spot for some readers.

    I have returned because I am troubled by some new observations:
    1. I attended a STEM course graduation ceremony at a Russell Group uni recently for a batch of around 300 new graduates and was frankly gobsmacked by the (dis)proportion of apparently Chinese graduates, and also by the number of apparently Chinese relatives who had secured best seats, and who were around the university long after the ceremony framing photographed keepsakes in front of the most impressive traditional buildings and other architectural pieces and institutional symbols.
    2. The large procession party of academics sat before us was entirely white Caucasian, many of whom either exhibited what I thought appeared as over pompous, down-their-noses type expressions, whilst nodding agreement to their superiors' every word about how excellent the institution was with liberal sprinklings of the various KPI/league table rankings, or at the other extreme, a "seen-it-all-before/do-I-really-have-to-sit-through-all this" disinterest to the extent that I was at one point very, very tempted to take an easy photograph of a column of three faces one behind the other, two with eyes closed and the other looking bored stiff.
    3. I noticed a great deal of new construction and major refurbishment had started in the summer break and because cladding had been removed I could see what looked like pretty appalling corrosion of existing buildings.
    4. Whilst at the event, I was told that if a recent English graduate who already borrowed for their first degree from SFE, immediately takes a UK post graduate course starting the very next semester after graduating with a Bachelors e.g. starts a Masters, and takes an SFE loan to pay for it, then that will mean that upon starting work, the loan payment isn't 9% of gross salary above £21K, but nearer 15%. I couldn't believe that. I'm horrified if it is true.
    5. I also think that I have seen suggestion recently that if graduates take up teaching, they can in some cases/some subjects get their Student Loan written off?
    Originally posted by agarnett
    The manifesto pledged to forgive student loan repayments of new teachers:

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/s/www.tes.com/news/school-news/breaking-news/conservatives-pledge-forgiveness-teacher-student-loans%3Famp

    Whether it gets taken forward and implemented or not is another question:

    https://www.google.co.uk/amp/www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/40371953

    I'm not sure whether Labour are proposing abolishing all student loans or not.

    You're right that postgraduate loans involve a 6% repayment on top of the 9% undergraduate repayment.

    I'm not sure whether Labour are planning to abolish all student loans or not. They're certainly abolishing tuition fee loans but whether there'll still be some maintenance loan or not is unclear.

    Fine - reintroduce maintenance grants but it's no good if the overall maintenance available is less generous then at present. I'd rather there be some tuition fee/maintenance loan element if that's what's needed for a generous maintenance package.

    Alternatively, target more support at subjects that have a state benefit if the state are paying in full, or if loans are used at subjects that lead to higher earnings.

    The current universal loan approach with higher earners in subjects that have a great social benefit paying substantial amounts to fund a free higher education for those doing subjects that have little social benefit and lower earnings is not right and needs to change.
    • Hedgehog99
    • By Hedgehog99 9th Jul 17, 11:26 AM
    • 1,317 Posts
    • 2,736 Thanks
    Hedgehog99
    I think there needs to be a re-evaluation of the whole university and jobs market here in the UK.

    Too many jobs say a degree is required when, day to day, it isn't. Graduates expect an interesting job and end up doing a boring job because the advert claimed it would be interesting and varied.

    There should be a difference in the way students are funded between degrees that lead to careers society values and which genuinely require that level of study (doctors, vets & lawyers etc), and degrees that are interesting from a personal cultural or scientific enrichment point of view, but contribute less to society and just equip someone for most jobs that at the moment say they require a graduate.

    There shouldn't be a boring job in the 21st Century. We should have mechanised all the boring stuff so that every employee, whatever their ability, should be able to have a job that is interesting and fulfilling for them - and that is well-paid.

    But of course that would lead to a four- or three-day working week, and - gasp! - the masses would have more time on their hands to get into mischief or start plotting the revolution, so better to keep them all chained to their desks, bored out of their skulls from nine to five on the minimum wage...
    • agarnett
    • By agarnett 10th Jul 17, 2:15 PM
    • 1,282 Posts
    • 534 Thanks
    agarnett
    I have just dipped into the Twitter Storm that has raged over the weekend (ok maybe I exaggerate the storm and rage parts - I am not a Tweeter so can't judge!) with Martin Lewis putting his oar in again to argue that Student Loans are nothing to worry about no matter what the loan balances reach.

    I have never even thought it previously, but I actually do believe that Martin is now writing naively about the whole subject, and (horror of horrors) is not presenting a neutral political view.

    Can we please stop blinding ourselves with numbers and hypotheses and look at this as responsible citizens within a leading developed civilisation in a land of opportunity?

    Let's stop self congratulating ourselves at being successful pay our own way ultra responsible members of the burdened tax-paying fraternity who regularly make all the right choices and have to suffer the hangers on who waste opportunity (unlike us of course).

    How on earth did we become successful at paying our own way and becoming the superior citizens we obviously think we are? We had opportunity and we took it. Boy did we take it

    Did we go to university? No -- lots of us didn't, we learned a trade, we started our own business, we slaved day and night until it succeeded.

    Oh but wait -- sorry. lots of us DID go to university. Some even borrowed money to do so (I didn't). But of course we did more "useful" degrees in those days, didn't we? Balderdash. I did a STEM degree at a top university, and then started selling motor and car insurance as a fast track graduate career with a global company.

    Ehm - useful degree? In what? Numeracy? I already had that well before university. What then? Would it have been useful had I got a first in PPE at Oxford? If I had pretensions of becoming Prime Minister, maybe, and then only because it was always a well trodden path - not because I might have learned anything on how to properly run a country as can easily be seen

    The subject of the degree means damn all to most graduates job prospects 40 years ago, and damn all now. Yes yes if you are a rocket scientist genius type with a double first and a PhD from a "top" university you can go and play at cheating the systems for an investment bank and get showered with money, but for most graduates, even with a good maths or science degree or engineering degree, its going to be a while before you even reach the UK average wage unless your Mum or Dad knows people in the City and can get you an in, and even then you'll be lucky if you find a job you really enjoy apart from the loadsamoney.

    You'll be renting like as not for many years, unlike us ordinary graduates who bought their first places within a year or so of starting our first proper jobs (on 100% mortgages). We had the opportunity you see.

    Those of us who built plumbing businesses or construction companies or software businesses or whatever we did over the last 40 decades, we found opportunity, and like as not we did not volunteer to pay tax until we had to. There was even opportunity in that... still is of course. The government didn't know our business until we thought it was time to tell them. Certain types of business still remain a closed book to HMRC, don't they?

    If I am a builder - how much work do I put through my books? Just enough. The opportunity is there in the UK.

    If I am a gem specialist, do I pay duty for crossing borders with gems in my pocket or under my hat or wherever one keeps them? How do I pay for them? Do I use a bank or what? Do I keep a book? What's the value anyway? Nicely arguable at every stage. The opportunity to cook books this way or that with arguable asset values is there in the UK.

    If I get a job with a bank, what can I get away with as I climb the greasy pole stepping on heads until I reach the top ? Can I retire early? How long can I expect to be retired before SFO comes knocking on my door? The opportunity is there in the UK to make a reasoned judgement that no-one will come knocking and besides, I haven't done anything illegal have I? Debateable.

    We like debateable in UK. It creates opportunity.

    Cost of educating English students who want to go to university? High. Not very debateable. Cost of not educating them? Debateable. Opportunity for government who want votes from narrow minded voters as well as educated voters and successful self made voters of both types. So let's keep tax low to satisfy narrow-minded gullible voters who pervade all the other types not to educate students, but let's tell the people including all those who do not normally vote for us (no matter which party is in government) that we CARE very much that they should be educated. Opportunity. Yes. As a political message it flies. It's called getting away with it, which is what so much modern day "success" borne out of opportunity is largely about.

    We should not let our government get away with it reducing opportunity to our young people as far as successive governments have reduced it since I went to university.

    Opportunity to earn a proper wage as a teenager in a part-time job - doesn't exist in England
    Opportunity to go to a good university without finding a part-time job or relying on Mum and Dad who are also being paid a ridiculously low wage anyway in the majority of cases. £27,000 a year as an average UK wage is a sick joke. Opportunity to go to a good university does not exist in England without struggling financially if you have no income other than what the state and university system provides - doesn't exist in UK and Martin Lewis needs to wake up to that fact pronto. His own child isn't old enough for him to know anymore, and even his valuable links and experiences as a student 25 years ago at a top university are not good enough for him to know.

    Opportunity. How dare the government monetise opportunity against the interests of those to whom the opportunity belongs?

    Government doesn't monetise opportunity exploited by black market tradesmen.

    Government doesn't monetise opportunity exploited by pan-global gemologists who base their lives and families in England

    Government doesn't monetise opportunity exploited by Google and Starbucks and all the usual names who pay miniscule tax for exploiting opportunity with all UK citizens.

    So why is it monetising the hopes and opportunities of those least able to fight back but like millions of dumb inexperienced incompletely educated cigarette smokers, are best caught when young?

    Our respective governments and especially the one that introduced the latest scheme and caused all universities to price their tuition at the maximum allowable, are sickos. They have lost the right to govern by their stupid connections with the City who have persuaded that everything that moves or threatens to move (hedging) can and should be monetised.

    Our PM is married to a flippin' hedge fund something or other. Get rid of her. Get rid of a government that cannot see that stealing opportunity and monetising it and then handing it back monetised, is still criminal in intent. Defrauding youngsters of a goodly amount of hope and freedom just at the point that they need to have completely uncluttered minds.

    The Student Loans Scheme in England is a shameful con created by narrow-minded people, and I am surprised that Martin Lewis is still trying to sell it, after already being burnt once by Willetts and Co over the way the £21K threshold was supposed to develop.

    But from the outset the scheme should never have seen the light of day.

    How dare the government saddle a whole generation of hopefuls with a 9% additional income tax? It is a unlawful indirect age discrimination save for the exemptions that government gives itself, and that is in more than one way. There is a secondary indirect age discrimination favouring old wrinklies like me who if we pay higher rate tax will never pay that extra 9% surcharge. It doesn't matter whether I am one of the old 5% of the working populace who went to university or whether I am a rich plumber or gemologist - because of my age, I will never pay that extra 9% (or 15% if a youngster goes straight on from Bachelors to do a Masters or PhD).

    So I say again to all young people and right thinkers of all ages, and I appeal to Martin Lewis to open his mind to the true breadth and meaning of Opportunity in the UK, not just the narrow monetised one which he seems so keen to try to continue to justify, to mobilise against the Student Loan Scheme and bring it crashing down. All of it. Retrospectively. Kill off erudio. Nationalise it and any other privatised ones and forgive the debt.


    Double the minimum wage, lower Personal Allowance to bring most people including students themselves into tax so they know they truly belong as full citizens. Then encourage them to keep on voting for what is right to do with their tax. Stop the strivers and skivers talk, and the just about managing insulting reference. If you are just about managing you should bring down this government. Lets get UK moving again, not faffing around thinking if I never earn more than £21K will I be alright because I will never have to pay the loan if I can stay poor for 30 years. Idiotic opportunity that is ... has no-one told someone on a fulltime wage less than £21K that it is shameful that their employer even calls their business a business?

    A barista should have their wage increased to more than that to start, but also pay more tax so their kids can go to university for free.

    If we all pay more tax, we all get Britain moving again, including free university education (ALL subjects - because the subject scarcely matters except for the geniuses who get firsts and want to build rockets or cure cancer or whatever). The rest will have demonstrated that they have brains, can respond to challenge, and that they are resilient. They can turn their hand to many new things if they are graduates.


    Opportunity is more than this, and most of the wrinklies or even middle-aged arguing that they made their own, and so should the young, are deceiving themselves.
    Last edited by agarnett; 10-07-2017 at 2:23 PM.
    • agrinnall
    • By agrinnall 10th Jul 17, 3:31 PM
    • 18,413 Posts
    • 14,129 Thanks
    agrinnall
    I can't face reading War and Peace every time you post, but I suspect you have rather too much time on your hands, have you considered voluntary work?
    • silvercar
    • By silvercar 10th Jul 17, 7:13 PM
    • 35,869 Posts
    • 151,038 Thanks
    silvercar
    I am sorry I had not returned to this thread, because although I hoped I might strike a chord when I created it and when I last posted at length, I had not realised until tonight that maybe I did hit the spot for some readers.

    I have returned because I am troubled by some new observations:
    1. I attended a STEM course graduation ceremony at a Russell Group uni recently for a batch of around 300 new graduates and was frankly gobsmacked by the (dis)proportion of apparently Chinese graduates, and also by the number of apparently Chinese relatives who had secured best seats, and who were around the university long after the ceremony framing photographed keepsakes in front of the most impressive traditional buildings and other architectural pieces and institutional symbols.Well regarded courses attract a lot of chinese students. Also students tend to follow their predecessors and go where they feel culturally comfortable. So what?
    2. The large procession party of academics sat before us was entirely white Caucasian, many of whom either exhibited what I thought appeared as over pompous, down-their-noses type expressions, whilst nodding agreement to their superiors' every word about how excellent the institution was with liberal sprinklings of the various KPI/league table rankings, or at the other extreme, a "seen-it-all-before/do-I-really-have-to-sit-through-all this" disinterest to the extent that I was at one point very, very tempted to take an easy photograph of a column of three faces one behind the other, two with eyes closed and the other looking bored stiff.So some were bored by the ceremony - It was possibly the 10th that week. Your observations on their expressions may be a reflection on you more than them. The fact that they were all white may depend on the part of the country you are in, or a reflection on how things were.
      Something that is now changing
    3. I noticed a great deal of new construction and major refurbishment had started in the summer break and because cladding had been removed I could see what looked like pretty appalling corrosion of existing buildings.
    4. Whilst at the event, I was told that if a recent English graduate who already borrowed for their first degree from SFE, immediately takes a UK post graduate course starting the very next semester after graduating with a Bachelors e.g. starts a Masters, and takes an SFE loan to pay for it, then that will mean that upon starting work, the loan payment isn't 9% of gross salary above £21K, but nearer 15%. I couldn't believe that. I'm horrified if it is true.
    5. I also think that I have seen suggestion recently that if graduates take up teaching, they can in some cases/some subjects get their Student Loan written off?
    The masters is only one year, so we expect the loan to be paid back quicker. Think about it, if the loan was just tagged onto the amount owed and repaid as part of the 9% over 21k deal, the majority of students wouldn't ever pay a penny back.
    Originally posted by agarnett
    my comments in red
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