'Is it time for a graduate tax?' poll discussion

edited 7 September 2010 at 7:42PM in Money Saving Polls
68 replies 8.4K views
Former_MSE_LawrenceFormer_MSE_Lawrence Former MSE
975 Posts
edited 7 September 2010 at 7:42PM in Money Saving Polls
Poll started 07 September 2010:

Is it time for a graduate tax?


It’s a hot topic in the labour leadership debate, and on the coalition benches. Should graduates be taxed more to pay for universities?

Put the answers below into your order of preference (top highest)

Current system - students are loaned tuition fees but only repay 9% of earnings above £15,000
Graduate Tax - no tuition fees but graduates pay a permanently higher rate of tax on UK earnings
Make it free - increase tax rates across the board to pay for it.

Please Vote Here, or click 'post reply' to discuss below. If you encounter any problems using the new ranking poll style, also please leave feedback below so we can look into it. Thanks :)

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Replies

  • olly300olly300 Forumite
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    Until the number of university level students goes down to a reasonable level and there are other ways to get into professions such as nursing and social work, that give the same level of qualification as a degree then unfortunately students have to pay for it.

    A graduate tax will not stop those who want to go aboard and not pay their loans back avoid paying.
    I'm not cynical I'm realistic :p

    (If a link I give opens pop ups I won't know I don't use windows)
  • Early results seem to favour the default setting - to get proper figures, I'd recommend changing the order which the results are presented to users randomly... :money:
  • cjt105 wrote: »
    Early results seem to favour the default setting - to get proper figures, I'd recommend changing the order which the results are presented to users randomly... :money:
    Technically you are correct but still common sense dictates that this default order would be most people's choice. I can't really fathom anyone choosing a different order.
  • lauh88lauh88 Forumite
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    Forumite
    Student loans with a different name, except we'd never stop paying graduate tax. Stupid idea!
  • MSE_MartinMSE_Martin MoneySaving Expert
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    cjt105 wrote: »
    Early results seem to favour the default setting - to get proper figures, I'd recommend changing the order which the results are presented to users randomly... :money:

    Yep we plan to change the order throughout the week to test whether its the default setting (we are deliberately trialling this new way of voting on one with only three options)
    Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
    Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • Keep it as it is.

    I'm a student, just started today in fact. I also work and pay taxes to subsidise the student loan (when it comes!)

    Given that those graduates who earn more are already going to be paying more than those graduates who earn less, through income tax deductions, surely this is going to be just penalising them further for working hard?

    The degree I am doing won't make me a doctor, lawyer or accountant so I won't personally be earning a vast sum so it probably wouldn't affect me so much. But it does just feel like a punishment for wanting to learn and to advance personal and professional development.

    I think a graduate tax would be a disaster mainly because:
    1. Graduates would emigrate to avoid it. A poll on www.thestudentroom.co.uk shows this is a popular option.
    2. Less people would go to university, meaning even more competition for jobs and therefore probably higher unemployment (so a higher takeup of benefits such as JSA, HB and CTB).
    3. We could also therefore end up with less key workers such as nurses, doctors, engineers.

    Personally speaking, I'd seriously consider emigrating to the USA or UAE to avoid this tax myself should it be introduced as I think it's grossly unfair and actually rather regressive. Note: I am more than happy to repay my student loans as they are and of course have every intention of doing so as I believe they're fair and reasonable and signed a contract saying so.
  • 3guesses3guesses Forumite
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    olly300 wrote: »
    Until the number of university level students goes down to a reasonable level and there are other ways to get into professions such as nursing and social work, that give the same level of qualification as a degree then unfortunately students have to pay for it.

    A graduate tax will not stop those who want to go aboard and not pay their loans back avoid paying.

    I agree mostly. Personally, I believe we do have too many people going to university studying courses of questionable value to society. Higher education should be free, paid for by those who benefit from it (they should earn higher salaries later in life, thereby paying more in tax). However, until the number of people in higher education reduces to a more reasonable level, the Government should decide on an annual basis what skills the country needs and subsidise the fees for the relevant courses. They already sort of do this with teaching...
  • It seems to me that people forget one very simple thing. We are constantly being told that Graduates will earn far more money over their lifetime with a degree than without. (Something that may once have been true but is probably no longer). However if we believe our Government then these Graduates will mostly become higher rate tax payers paying 40% in income tax.

    If that isn't already a pretty substantial graduate tax then I don't know what is.

    Talk of a further graduate tax is just a further disincentive to higher education.

    What the government should be doing is matching Graduate supply to demand. Instead of producing graduates who end up in call centres or as shop assistants because there are no jobs for them, they should restrict University entrance to the top performers and only produce the number of graduates we actually need.

    This would substantially reduce the burden on the State and College leavers who end up with £25000 worth of debt and a degree they can't use.

    It might even be possible to make University education affordable again!
  • Graduate tax is unfair - with longer working lives, graduates will end up paying much more in their lifetimes than they do by repaying their loans. The current system is much fairer, in that you pay back what you borrowed plus inflation. Perhaps the 9% could be increased to say 12% so that they are paid off ever so slightly quicker.

    KimYeovil - I put them in a different order, with "Current System", then "Make it Free", then "Graduate Tax". I started uni in 2003, when tuition fees where half the price, but I actually got it free via means testing (single mum with low income so local council paid). Yet I still have a student loan of £17k (because unfortunately I still had to eat! And rent accommodation, and buy books, bus passes, and the occassional beer...And I did work all through uni, and on summer hols & so am proud to say that I never got into any other debt like credit/store cards or overdrafts). So even if there are no tuition fees, there will still be student loans of some fashion. In fact, even if there is a graduate tax, there will need to be student loans to pay for living!!!! So why have a student loan AND graduate tax coming out of your wage????

    PS - I also think that the new format may have confused some eager beavers who didn't read the instructions and so just hit "submit", which is why the scores are as they are. But MSE Martin, you've already thought of that so I'll look forward to the results next week!
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  • No, there should definitely not be a graduate tax, it's a crazy complicated idea. The fees that students have to pay are constantly being increased and I think they are already paying enough, people shouldn't be penalised for wanting to better themselves and get an education. I agree that university entry should be more selective, it seems nowadays that almost anybody can get in - when I went (too many years ago!!) a much smaller percentage of the population qualified. The trouble is that education generally has become so dumbed down over the years that getting an 'A' grade at GCSE or A level no longer really means much, it used to be a huge achievement, so if getting high grades is so much easier how can the universities select the best students?

    If graduates earn more they will pay more in tax anyway and thus contribute more back to society, it's so simple I can't see why there is even a debate about it! Not every graduate will succeed in getting a highly paid job so why should they be penalised with a higher tax rate for the rest of their lives?

    End of rant!!!!
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