Letter: Graduate tax: unfair penalty or key to university growth?

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The Independent Online
Sir: A graduate tax ('Treasury planning charge on students', 7 June) is preferable to the current situation which rejects many able young people from gaining a place at a university for which they have worked hard. To expand places sufficiently without diluting the quality of the learning experience in our universities is costly; even under current financial pressures, it is becoming increasingly difficult to maintain standards.

The increased tax burden need not be heavy. The graduate tax should not be confined to new entrants; tens of thousands have benefited financially from their university education received 10, 20 and more years ago. No one welcomes any increase in tax, but it will be regarded widely as equitable and morally right to contribute what would be a small sum if so widely shared rather than to place the whole cost on a new generation of students, our children among them.

No doubt there are administrative difficulties and, as always, doctrinal objections. They should be overcome. The Government would find this is the one increase on which they would be supported.

Yours sincerely,

J. A. S. GRENVILLE

Sutton Coldfield, West Midlands

7 June

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