Hmm, this might not be the best idea

Graduates aged in their 40s and above who benefited from a free university education should pay a retrospective tax to help fund the current generation of students, a new report has suggested.

Researchers at the UCL Institute of Education have set out proposals for a new “all-age graduate tax” that could be used to bring down tuition fees that currently cost students up to £9,250 per year.

Retrospective changes just aren’t a good idea really.

Those who received hip implants back when the NHS did them promptly should now pay an extra tax to pay for the NHS to do hip implants promptly today?

19 thoughts on “Hmm, this might not be the best idea”

  1. It is easy to make university free again
    1) Reduce the number of courses and people studying (any course where the mean salary after graduating is less than £25k pa)
    2)Make pro single parents share housing – spend the savings on housing benefit on university education.

  2. of course spuuda has latched onto this like a drowning man clutching a lifebelt – so much for paying the right tax at the right time – its MOAR tax.

  3. As a student in the 1950’s a good many of us had been obliged to do National Service in the Armed Forces, two years with a wage that barely covered necessary expenses. Does UCL factor in any discounts for this kind of thing, notably in recent decades all those people who have done extensive voluntary before going up to University?

  4. My dear old dad used to point out that my university education wasn’t free: he’d paid high income tax rates all his life and the only bloody thing he got back for it was our education. And, he would add, he’d paid for the education of many of our pals too.

    Fuck UCL, if I may say so.

  5. Demetrius,

    > any discounts for […] voluntary before going up to University?

    What, so Jocasta should get a discount on her uni fees for spending six months backpacking around Uttar Pradesh and half a day teaching English to orphans?

  6. Graduates already do pay an all-age graduate tax, it’s called income tax. It’s screamed in our faces that going to university increases your income, so by that very argument, those that benefit from a higher income by going to university automatically do pay extra income tax.

  7. @jgh
    “Graduates already do pay an all-age graduate tax, it’s called income tax. It’s screamed in our faces that going to university increases your income, so by that very argument, those that benefit from a higher income by going to university automatically do pay extra income tax.”
    True and any course which doesn’t have the affect should be closed.

  8. When they introduced the graduate premium to income tax (incorrectly called student loans) I said I should support a graduate tax *if and only if* it included Vince Cable and myself. Vince Cable chose to exempt himself. [For avoidance of doubt I have, like Dearieme’s Dad, more than paid for my children’s education]

    Vince Cable benefited by more than Dearieme or myself since in our day student grants were means-tested and our fathers had to contribute significantly.

  9. @ Andrew M
    I chose not to do VSO partly because my limted abilities (especially, but not only, in speaking foreign languages, didn’t match the requirements) but those who did VSO in my youth made a genuine and serious commitment. I think Demetrius must be even older than I and, to him, “recent decades” includes the 1960s and 1970s.

  10. I’m not tax-resident in the UK and haven’t been for nigh-on twenty years so not sure how that’s going to work out. And as for subsidising voluntary work: what about the involuntary work I did in my gap year because I needed the dosh? Working split shifts in a chippy did a lot more good in maturing me than swanning around Patagonia feeling self-righteous would have.

  11. john77,

    > those who did VSO in my youth made a genuine and serious commitment

    But can you put a price on it?

    It just so happens we have a mechanism for determining the value of a person’s work: it’s called the market.

    A Westerner digging ditches in Kathmandu should only be valued at whatever the market rate for a ditch-digger in Kathmandu is (certainly no more than $5/day). That amount won’t make a dent in their £9,250/year university fees.

    By all means send your Jocasta on a gap year to discover the world, to meet people who really do manage to live off $5 a day, to discover what happens when the things we take for granted don’t exist (clean running water & sewerage, the rule of law, open justice, etc.). But there’s absolutely no reason to link that to their uni fees.

  12. Graduates aged in their 40s and above who benefited from a free university education should pay a retrospective tax to help fund the current generation of students

    Why? Why subsidise creating more useless over-credentialed people with no prospects of earning what they believe (wrongly) they are entitled to?

  13. @ Andrew M
    It DID have no impact on their undergraduate, or postgraduate, costs so made no dent whatsoever in their “uni fees”.
    FYI in four years at university (maths degree plus post-grad in statistics) I never met a girl called Jocasta – possibly because universities were for intelligent, not pseudo-intellectual or Sloane Ranger, students.
    I had 9 months between winning entry and going up of which I spent eight months working for £6/week as a trainee computer programmer and three weeks trying, unsuccessfully, to prevent Wilson gaining power and wrecking the UK.

  14. Bloke in North Dorset

    I haven’t got a degree but I have paid some eye watering amounts of tax at the higher rates. Can I get some of it back?

  15. I went to university in the 70s and had to pay my own fees. Many of us not on a full grant were in similar situations. Would that make me exempt?

    I would agree with anon above that there should be a major reduction in university places. There might even be a requirement to close certain universities

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