Vince Cable’s recent proposal regarding a potential graduate tax system is something of high interest to many.
With so much controversy surrounding university fees this year, and the decision being made to essentially raise them substantially across the board, one wonders what the motives behind this announcement may have been.
Whilst nothing concrete has been announced, Cable did claim that the proposals would be considered in the independent review of university fees and funding by Lord Browne. Were the system to be put in place, the repayment of tuition fees would directly correlate with the earnings of a graduate, and the amount paid back per year would be lesser or greater depending on the graduate’s income.
Mr Cable had talked of his hopes of a graduate tax system possibly being introduced that saw lower graduate earners paying less back to the government and higher earners paying more. However he accepted that these proposals may well be widely considered as ‘unfair’.
There are also fears that the graduate tax proposal is merely a ‘re-branding’ of student debt, and that it may just be an attempt by the government to try and show that it’s not all doom and gloom on the student financial front.
The National Union of Students has welcomed the proposals, and a spokesman said that it made more sense to base the paying back of university fees on income.
However the non-committal nature of Cable’s proposals and the lack of action and follow-up seen after they were originally suggested has done little to raise moral amongst current and potential students.
However the subject of university funding has always been prickly for this coalition government, and few will be filled with hope when all that is made are proposals and potentialities.