Paying for the privilege

It is surely right that those who reap the financial benefits of a university education should pay for the privilege rather than it being entirely funded out of general taxation.

Vince Cable floated a graduate tax as a possible way of meeting the challenges of the future funding of tertiary education and both Ed Miliband and Ed Balls agree.

The usual suspects object that such an idea would be a disincentive for students to go to university but it would surely be less so than the existing system of fees.

The potential benefits are substantial, especially if the tax were to be levied on those working graduates from previous decades who had “free” university education.

There are potential drawbacks but the negatives look as if they will outweigh the positives and Cable is right that a graduate tax is, at least, worthy of exploration.

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