If you’re a student or have been a student or have children who are either then this will affect you.
Whilst everyone has been concerned about Theresa May giving the NHS away to American companies in her attempt to secure a headline trade deal to shore up the Tory ‘hard boiled brexit’ (just as Cameron offered the original referendum on Britain’s membership of the EU), the news crept out that May’s disastrous government are planning to give away the Student Loans Book. What are the odds that an American company wins it?
Figures like £12billion are being bandied about but what are we actually talking about? The initial sale is meant to be associated with a pot of £4billion pounds of loans that ‘went live’ from 2002–2006; the first in a proposed program of 4 yearly sales. If the first sale is for loans valuing £4billion then it is safe to say that subsequent parcels of loans will be worth more but let’s presume each parcel of loans is worth £4billion, 4X4=16, not 12. So, are they already admitting that the selloff is going to cost taxpayers £4billion?
In 2014, the Tories were thwarted in the coalition government when they looked into selling off Student Loans and the LibDems’ Vince Cable investigated the option and concluded it could not deliver savings for taxpayers or reduce government debt.
If we have ever learned anything about the Tories in government it is that they never knowingly let the best interests of taxpayers get in the way of their primary goal of transferring public wealth to privateers. Time and time again we have seen sales of public assets to privateers, only to witness instant ‘profits’ for the purchasers. But there is a greater threat with this particular give away by the Tories.
Millions of young people have taken on student debt in increasing value, the Tories have a history of moving the goal posts, repeatedly, for existing debts and who in their right mind would trust the Tories’ assurances that the sell off will not cost students any more than they are currently paying? The government will have to offer inbuilt profits to encourage privateers to sniff around the debt, profits furnished by taxpayers. Students could see any ‘protections’ struck off with a single stroke of a Tory Chancellor’s pen for debts that young people would be a lifetime paying. People did not sign up to payday style loan sharks to go to university but that is the situation we are facing.
Student loans has been an unmitigated disaster all round and the choice to have loans costs taxpayers more than grants would have; it is an ideological choice, not a logical or credible one. To add a burden of profits for privateers into the costs already shouldered by taxpayers verges on the criminal. Enslaving young people to a lifetime of payday loans to bail out the Tories because of their ‘brexit’ folly adds further insult to an abused generation.