Letter: How students pay for their education

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The Independent Online
Sir: In 'Why students must learn to pay' (21 July), Colin Hughes concludes that lifetime earning prospects for graduates are better than for the rest of the working population and, as a result, such graduates should pay towards their education. However, he overlooks the fact that our progressive taxation system means that such higher earning graduates will pay tax at a higher rate than lower paid workers. This is how higher paid graduates repay the investment in their future.

To implement the system advocated by Mr Hughes is entering dangerous territory. Should the patient who undergoes successful, life-saving surgery repay part of the cost of that surgery to 'repay some of the investment made in their future'? As a graduate who has never been hospitalised and cannot remember the last time he visited his GP, I assume Mr Hughes would give me a credit for non-use of the health service against any payment for my education?

The plausible alternative that Mr Hughes is searching for is to reallocate some of the limited Government revenues away from areas such as defence spending and towards the higher education of more of our young people. After all, graduates, as a large section of the wealth creators in our economy, provide the means of generating future prosperity for all residents of this country.

Yours faithfully,




21 July