ALL Scottish graduates will have their student loans wiped out if the SNP win the next Holyrood election, under plans being drawn up by the party’s research unit.Where does one start when faced with this nonsense?
The radical policy, being examined by the Nationalists’ shadow education spokeswoman Fiona Hyslop, is to be debated at the party’s conference in Aviemore next month. If approved by delegates, the measure is likely to be central to the SNP’s “pro-enterprise” manifesto in 2007.
The Nationalists believe the multi-million pound debt racked up by graduates has become a drain on the economy and a constraint on consumer spending, and writing it off would be an extension of current party policy to replace student loans with grants.
First I'm inclined to regret not having any debt left from my own days of studying. Clearly I should have waited for it to be "written off" - in other words for it to be paid for by the majority of taxpayers who didn't undertake any higher education.
Then I can't help laughing at the suggestion that such a policy is "radical". It's not - a radical policy would be to privatise the whole higher education sector right now.
Next, this proposal is labelled as being "pro-enterprise" on the grounds that these poor welfare bums won't be contributing as much as they might otherwise to consumer spending. Does it not occur to Ms Hyslop that the poor old proles who are to be compelled to "write off " the debts of their betters will have less to spend under her brilliant scheme?
Finally I come to the small print. The average student debt is around £12,000.
According to the Sunday Herald:
MSPs in all parties are concerned that graduates have to earn almost £22,000 just to pay off the interest on their loans. Below that figure, graduates watch as the interest mounts.I note that one can get an unsecured loan from the Halifax at 6.7%. The annual interest on £12,000 would come to £804 and to pay that one would need to allocate around £1,200 of one's pre tax income. If that's not affordable the person in question just isn't likely to make a success at anything in life and certainly deserves no subsidy.