From The Tab:
A vote-hungry Labour party would scrap tuition fees and replace them with a graduate tax.
Ed Miliband’s party plan to cap fees at a maximum £6,000 a year and place an annual levy on wages.
Almost seven million students finish uni with up to £40,000 of debt with less than half will land a graduate level job. According to the Sunday Times, student loans are never paid off in full by 45 per cent of students, leaving a £90 billion black hole by 2042.
From The Metro:
Meanwhile, Mr Clegg admitted he ‘regretted massively’ the furore caused by his tuition fees U-turn.
‘What we have introduced is a graduate tax and I really wish we had called it a graduate tax at the time,’ he claimed.
That's the whole point, which most people missed at the time.
If the amount of the loan repayments are based on a graduate's income, with the unpaid balance written off after a few decades, then that is to all intents and purposes like a 'graduate tax'.
The Tories only changed the system to discredit the Lib Dems because of the AV referendum, keen eyed observers would have noticed that the new system is actually 'progressive', in that graduates on low incomes would pay little or nothing, i.e. less than the previous system, and graduates on good incomes would pay a lot more.
It seems like a shit way of doing things, but that's how it is.
So assuming that Labour write off the nominal amount of loans, and just have a graduate tax of 9% on annual income above £16,910 (as at present), the amount which graduates have to pay will be no different; it's purely a psychological thing and bookkeeping entries.
So fair play to Labour, tactical genius.
@ Mombers. The Universal Credit withdrawal rate is officially 65%, but that applies to income net of PAYE.
If you earn less than the NIC thresholds, the rate is indeed 65%. If you earn more enough to trgger NIC but no income tax, the rate = 1 - (0.35*0.88)/1.138) = 73%. If you earn more than £10,000, the effective taper rate = 1 - ((0.68*0.35)/1.138) = 79%.
UC is supposed to replace Housing Benefit but not Council Tax Benefit. But Council Tax Benefit doesn't exist any more, each local council just invents their own Council Tax Reduction scheme (which is a lot less generous than Council Tax Benefit, rightly or wrongly), whatever the withdrawal rate is, this will nudge the rates mentioned above that much closer to 100%.
Monday, 19 January 2015
From The Tab: