Student Loans (unsurprisingly) don’t get paid off
Remember that loan you got out years ago that allowed you to buy Blastaways, fags and occasionally pay the rent on that condemned basement you lived in with the Bob Marley poster and the rats? Did you pay it off yet? Or did you change your name, move house and pretend it never happened?
Well plenty of people have done just that, it would seem, and the amount of outstanding student loans is set to reach £200 billion by 2042. At the moment, according to the National Audit Office, the total amount borrowed is £46bn, and the Student Loan Company is sitting on a mountain of unaccounted for loans totalling £5bn. A further 368000 had no employment record in the UK, and if they then started work, they had failed to tell Student Loans tax or information about earnings.
The Department of Business, Innovation and Skills assumed 35% of loans that would go unpaid but now that figure is closer to 40%. They also miscalculated how many students could pay back the new higher rate student loans. And as you can imagine that’s left a little hole in the budget, to the tune of £600m.
Labour MP Liam Byrne said: ‘In May, the Universities Minister was boasting of the governments ‘text book reforms.’ Now, we learn that blundering, out-of-touch ministers got their sums so badly wrong that there’s a £600m hole in the budget. We need to know how ministers got it so wrong, and how they’re going to fix it without putting Britain’s scientists, schools and colleges under threat.’
God, chill out, man. Be more like an ageing student. Make a bong out of a bottle of White Lightning and watch Betty Blue on DVD or something. It'll get paid back. (Maybe.)