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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 6:45 pm on 21st November 2016.

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Photo of Gordon Marsden Gordon Marsden Shadow Minister (Education) 6:45 pm, 21st November 2016

That was a hell of a lot more than two seconds, but I forgive the hon. Lady. We need to look at this issue in the context of our proposal, to which I have already alluded.

New clause 6 deals with yet another regressive policy that has been highlighted during the passage of this Bill. My hon. Friend the Member for Ilford North spoke about some of the significant issues in this regard. The students affected will end up having to pay more than they were loaned as a greater proportion of their income. To those who have, more will be given, because they can pay their loans back more speedily; from those who have not, more will be taken. The Government seem to have been disregarding in their education policy the fact that there is a regional and demographic dimension to this as well. Constituents of mine taking up a graduate job in the past 12 months will have had a more reasonable ability to hit a threshold that was supposed to be uprated on a regular basis. Students in parts of the country where starting incomes for graduates are much lower than in London and the south-east will be particularly badly hit by this proposal.