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Student support: restricted modification of repayment terms

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Work and Pensions – in the House of Commons at 6:30 pm on 21st November 2016.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 6:30 pm, 21st November 2016

The Minister is talking about the affordability and sustainability of systems. Does he acknowledge that when the proposals to change the student funding system were put to this House back in 2012, it was on the understanding from his predecessor, Lord Willetts, that the resource and budgeting charge—the uncollectable level of student debt—would be at around 28%? That prediction was rubbished by many experts in the sector and from the Opposition Benches, and gradually, over the lifetime of the Parliament, the percentage went up into the 30s and the 40s, to the point where it became unsustainable. The unsustainability of the system that the Government created was then dealt with by imposing that burden on students by varying the charges and the deal on student loans in the way that my hon. Friend Wes Streeting described.