MSE News: Government proposes graduate tax

This is the discussion thread for the following MSE News Story:

"Graduates could pay for their university education through a special tax once they start work ..."
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  • Arthurian
    Arthurian Posts: 796 Forumite
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    If someone realised they couldn't get a job with their degree, so then embarked on training to become, say, a train or bus driver, would they still have to pay the graduate tax?
  • Premier_2
    Premier_2 Posts: 15,141 Forumite
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    Arthurian wrote: »
    If someone realised they couldn't get a job with their degree, so then embarked on training to become, say, a train or bus driver, would they still have to pay the graduate tax?

    Probably, assuming they earn enough.

    Only a very small number of graduates use what they studied at university in their later career choice.
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  • Dinah93
    Dinah93 Posts: 11,463 Forumite
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    Genius, instead of just having graduates who have been unable to find work on the dole, we'll also have those who just want to avoid paying the tax. I graduated 4 years ago, a lot of my friends got jobs in call centres. It was a bit better for them than being on the dole, but I bet with a tax whacked on it we'll have even more people who don't think it's worth working.
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  • Indie_Kid
    Indie_Kid Posts: 23,077 Forumite
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    Don't they alreay do this through paying back their loans?
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  • The_One_Who
    The_One_Who Posts: 2,418 Forumite
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    Scotland tried something similar with the Graduate Endowment (although it was a lump sum rather than a proper tax) and it wasn't popular. This idea makes little sense to me. Surely a better idea would be to stop this ridiculous notion of 50% of the population having a degree?

    It's a bad time to be in higher education (whether as a student or as staff) with redundancies, budget cuts and an attitude of 'doing more with less' which is impossible.
  • Fang_3
    Fang_3 Posts: 7,602 Forumite
    I think this is much fairer. As long as it stops the unfairness of the loan and grant amounts towards students from middle-earning families.
  • Indie_Kid
    Indie_Kid Posts: 23,077 Forumite
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    Surely a better idea would be to stop this ridiculous notion of 50% of the population having a degree?

    And explain the other oppotunities to people. When I was in 6th form, we just got talked into going into university.
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  • UCU takes a response out of context

    Ask people if they support increased tuition fees and they'd tend to say no

    If the question was phrased " or add x% to income tax " to cover labour's 50% target then the response would be different

    Also UCU, by her response and the generally accepted position that 25% (give or take) cuts from public funds are on the way is supporting that means thousands of job losses in the sector and if done properly rather than salami slices the significant closures of a number of current institutions. I seem to remember her saying that such a policy would bring the mother of all industrial action.

    If UCU believe the current status qou can remain ( which means income tax up by 5-10% ) then they are living in cloud cuckoo land

    We need to recognise the costs of this education and then ensure that students from poorer backgrounds through needs-blind bursary are not discouraged by increased tuition fees!
  • I've read and listened to a lot of news reports on this, and I still don't understand the difference between the 'graduate tax' and the income-contingent system as it is now. The argument that teachers paying the same as surgeons is not fair doesn't wash with me, as the surgeon probably earns much more than the teacher and is therefore paying a higher amount of their loan back anyway. It seems to me like they're trying to fob this off as the people who can afford to pay it back subsiding the ones who can't, and that doesn't seem very fair to me.

    I'd also like to know more about time frames - when do I start paying it back and how long for? - as well as who pays it back (all graduates, even the ones who got grants and didn't pay to go to uni? New graduates? People with outstanding loans to repay?) and what the limits are.
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  • glider3560
    glider3560 Posts: 4,115 Forumite
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    With the current system, you know upfront (i.e. before starting university) exactly how much your education will cost you. You know how much you'll have to pay back and can think of the repayments as an extra tax (if you like).

    On the new proposed scheme, you won't know how much the degree will cost you. In addition, graduates who go on and get higher paid jobs will be penalised by having to pay higher "tuition fees" than those who don't earn as much.

    And then how do you treat graduates who then go abroad? They don't pay tax in this country, so how would they pay this "tax"?
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