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The morning after - shadows of echoes of memories of songs — LiveJournal
j4
j4
The morning after
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htfb From: htfb Date: December 10th, 2010 05:22 pm (UTC) (Link)
On the other hand would the 18-year-old-you have really been bothered by a commitment to a 29% income-tax band starting at £17.5k?

I'm amazed that in between all his work at exciting new forms of convertible mezzanine debt for banks and countries and everybody, St Vince hasn't taken the time to redefine the up-front fee as a, um, Repayable Income-Contingent Higher Education Surcharge.

There are arguments against a pure graduate tax---you don't want people just to leave the country---but they could easily have said "it's a payment obligation, not a tax, but it comes out of PAYE and with income tax and NI your payment bands look like this: also, your maximum obligation is capped after which you go back to the ordinary bands, and unless you have earnings abroad or otherwise dodge the system it doesn't crystallise as a debt on your credit record."

Apart from the status of the debt for individuals' credit-check that's exactly the effect of the current scheme; but since 2008 there is much less point in trying to hide a government obligation off its balance sheet by pretending that student loans are ordinary debts incurred by the student. That just imposes costs on the individual without really benefiting anyone.

As I say, it boggles me that they have gone the other way.
celestialweasel From: celestialweasel Date: December 10th, 2010 05:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
IAWTC
(Deleted comment)
htfb From: htfb Date: December 10th, 2010 07:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
We crossed in the posting, so I hadn't seen your thoughts on tax when I was writing.

I don't like your analogy with the cancer treatment. There's a difference between the things the state provides as insurance, and the services it provides which people elect to take up: you don't object to paying for council parking charges.

The pass was sold long ago on the idea that a HE student is the beneficiary of extraordinary inputs and, if they realise that benefit in a higher income, should expect to pay back somehow.

Calling something a "tax" implies that it's gathered coercively and of course you're right that the coercive powers of the state should be applied even-handedly. My scheme handles this by crystallising the obligation as an ordinary debt if you renege on the agreement, which can then be enforced using the ordinary processes. I have all the answers, me.
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