On ThursdayI had a meeting with Pam Tatlow, Chief Executive of Million +, a leading university think tank, about the proposals set out in Lord Browne’s report on tuition fees. Million + are advocating more research into the possibility of a Graduate Tax, and believe that the claim that Lord Browne’s recommendations will create a more progressive system for students and graduates does not stand up. Their research shows that the real ‘winners’ would be the highest earning graduates, but even they will have to pay more than under the present system, whilst they claim that graduates who go on to earn £28,000 per year will pay an additional £15,000 in repayments.
Whilst these figures are startling, what is clear to me is that Vince Cable will come up with a more progressive scheme than we currently have, with the poorest 30% of graduates paying less. Unfortunately the overall cost will be higher. While I welcome the progressive nature of the proposals I can’t support an increase in fees, which I believe will put future students off going to University.