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Monday, 10 July 2017
Labour wants to write off all student debt!
SHADOW education secretary, Angela Rayner, said yesterday that the Labour Party’s ‘ambition’ is to write off all student debt at a cost of £100bn.
|Students on the march – looking to Labour to write off all student debt
But the MP said it was a ‘huge amount’ and Labour would not commit to doing it ‘unless we can afford to’. The Labour Party election manifesto pledged to scrap university tuition fees if it wins power. Party leader, Jeremy Corbyn, went further in an interview with the NME during the election campaign, suggesting existing debts could be wiped.
He told the music magazine: ‘There is a block of those that currently have a massive debt, and I’m looking at ways that we could reduce that, ameliorate that, lengthen the period of paying it off, or some other means of reducing that debt burden.
‘I don’t see why those that had the historical misfortune to be at university during the £9,000 period should be burdened excessively compared to those that went before or those that come after. I will deal with it.’
Interviewed on the Andrew Marr Show yesterday Rayner was asked how much it would cost.
She said: ‘It is a huge amount, it is £100bn, which they estimate at the moment, which will increase. It’s a huge amount of money but we also know a third of that is never repaid.’
Rayner claimed that Corbyn had said it was an ‘ambition’ adding that ‘we will not announce that we’re doing it unless we can afford to do that’. She said: ‘I like a challenge, Andrew, but we’ve got to start dealing with this debt crisis that we’re foisting on our young people. It’s not acceptable. They are leaving university with £57,000 worth of debt, it’s completely unsustainable and we’ve got to start tackling that.’
Last month, the Student Loan Company said that outstanding debt on student loans had increased by 16.6% to £100.5bn at the end of March. Rayner has previously called on the government to reverse the abolition of student maintenance grants to help the most disadvantaged students. She also wants to reduce the percentage rate that students have to pay on their loans, which has gone up to 6.1%.
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