“I pledge to vote against any increase in fees in the next parliament and to pressure the government to introduce a fairer alternative”
That was the NUS pledge that I signed.
The new proposals are fairer. So – those who are angry at me and feel ‘betrayed’ do at least need to look at the comparative proposals and see if they are ‘fairer’. It would have been much easier to vote against – in a constituency like Hornsey & Wood Green where some Labour voters supported me – but as popular as that might have made me – why would I vote against something which will help poorer students when my mission is a society that is more equal.
For anyone actually interested in the detail – I paste some below.
• No-one pays a penny upfront. Students don’t pay, graduates do.
• For the first time, part time students won’t have to pay up front fees.
• All students will repay less per month compared to now.
• The lowest earning 25% of graduates will repay less overall.
• No-one earning £21,000 or less will pay anything (which will be increased each year in line with earnings).
• It will be the highest earners – around 25% of graduates – who will pay back more than they borrow.
• More than half a million students will be eligible for more non-repayable grants for living costs. Almost one million students will be eligible for more overall maintenance support.
• There will be an extra £150m for a new National Scholarship Programme for students from poorer backgrounds and we will introduce tough new sanctions of universities who fail to improve their access to students from backgrounds.
• The Council of Mortgage lenders has confirmed that higher fees will not impact on graduate’s ability to get a mortgage. Student loans data are not shared with credit reference agencies, so they will not impact on an individual’s credit score (either positively or negatively). Mortgage lenders worry about monthly outgoings which are lower than at preset.
This system gives graduates more disposable income when they need it most, when they’re starting out in their careers and moving home because their monthly payments are lower.
Monthly repayment comparators – our system versus the current system:
Job Title/Starting Salary/ Our System / Current System / Annual Saving
Investment Banking / £38,250 / £129.38 / £174.38 / £540.00
Police constable (London) / £25,536 / £34.02 / £79.02 / £540.00
Average graduate scheme / £25,000 / £30.00 / £75.00 / £540.00
Engineering / £23,500 / £18.75 / £63.75 / £540.00
Social worker / £23,500 / £18.75 / £63.75 / £540.00
Police constable (outside London) / £23,259 / £16.94 / £61.94 / £540.00
Teacher (outside London) / £21,588 / £4.41 / £49.41 / £540.00
Librarian / £19,000 / £0.00 / £30.00 / £360.00
Third Sector / £19,000 / £0.00 / £30.00 / £360.00
Junior Sous Chef (London) / £18,000 / £0.00 / £22.50 / £270.00
Plumber / £17,313 / £0.00 / £17.35 / £208.17
Care assistant /£13,000 / £0.00 / £0.00 / £0.00