Thursday 22 September 2005


I see that the welfare mentality is alive and well in the SNP:
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.

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.

Where does one start when faced with this nonsense?

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.

1 comment:

David Farrer said...

Comments made on previous template:

David Farrer
Me too Dearieme. And a professional qualification.

28 September 2005, 20:28:06 GMT+01:00
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Hang on, it's not bloody fair. I paid my own way through a degree and had no loans: can I please have a bloody great handout to compensate?

28 September 2005, 06:43:36 GMT+01:00
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David Vance
The SNP and economic incoherence go hand in hand. If they wanted to be radical, as you rightly suggest, then why not suggest taking the STATE out of education? I'll tell you why - because like all moonbats they want to control our lives.

25 September 2005, 14:33:54 GMT+01:00
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Should some of the annual public sector waste of £81bn be recovered to help the economy? 
VFM audit can only identify the waste. £81bn is only a drop in the ocean compared to the findings here.

24 September 2005, 12:03:25 GMT+01:00
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Although I graduated from University with only two years worth of loan debt, I went on to do an PgDip/MSc course for which the MSc portion had to be paid for out of your own pocket. Unlike the undergraduate student loan, repayment of the "Career Development Loan" that I took out for the MSc had to start as soon as the course ended i.e. no favourable deferment terms. That said, I still managed to pay off all my student debts within a relatively short period of time, on an income well below that expected for a graduate. I suppose it all depends on what your priorities are.

23 September 2005, 14:08:36 GMT+01:00
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The idea is a possibility for helping to grow Scotland's economy. After debate, it will no doubt be suitably refined.  
But where will the funding for it come from in the short-term? Well, public sector waste in the UK, in 2004, is independently reported to have reached £81bn. 
And growing the economy is said to be the priority of the Scottish Executive.

23 September 2005, 14:05:36 GMT+01:00
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Donald McCampbell
How Scottish would one need to be to qualify? Maybe I should move North for a while!

23 September 2005, 11:20:51 GMT+01:00
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dave t
As a student I have to agree! OK Blair and Co got a free education but nowadays with more and more people getting into uni it makes sense for them to pay not those who do not make it. After all, I don't pay for the likes of my son doing a plumbing course even though he will be earning much more than me eventually! IF you want a degree that much you should pay for it and make the sacrifices if necessary - it makes it all the more worthwhile when you get one - you've paid for it and you've sweated for it. (Even if it is not that hard to get one nowadays.....)

23 September 2005, 07:37:21 GMT+01:00
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Hector Maclean
You really have to despair at the SNP and their ludicrous attempts at being radical. Of course its simply more of what the SNP always seem to be dreaming up: more tax and spend policies. The current student loans system is more than generous.

22 September 2005, 21:12:13 GMT+01:00