30 years of debt – what a strange way to reward students
Former teacher David Cook, of Cottingham, is grandfather to a new student ...
AMERICA, the most powerful and richest nation in the world, was recently on the edge of a financial abyss.
Due to excessive borrowing running into trillions of dollars, the two leading parties, Republicans and Democrats, were at each other's throats long into the night on the decision day regarding the taxpayer relief act as the edge of the so-called "fiscal cliff" neared.
Eventually, a compromise was reached which seemed to please no one, but both sides, grudgingly, accepted.
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Britain, like the rest of Europe, heaved a sigh of relief.
The old adage that said we catch a cold if America sneezes was never clearer.
Our debts too were, and still are, running out of control.
Nationally, and individually, it was clearly apparent that the perceived solution to any debt problem was simply to borrow even more money.
Loan sharks flourished and people just added to their credit cards as an immediate answer with little hope of financial stability.
Many MPs suggested more effort should be made to educate children as part of the school curriculum about the care of their money and the folly of running up endless debts.
The recently-introduced student fees are no more than a cleverly contrived scam.
Great play is made of the fact that no payments need to be made until an ex-student is earning £420 per week.
No mention of the fact that the original debt will continue to rise in line with inflation.
In a period of five years, this could easily add another £5,000 to the initial figure owed. Earners in the £40,000 bracket will find inflation plus 3 per cent to contend with.
Again, an imprecise figure, but a joint sum of 6 or 7 per cent could well be expected, in some years a lot more.
In essence, most students face 30 years of debt before the term of owing is cancelled.
In the very common case of graduates marrying each other then they could well start married life with the proverbial mill stone of more than £60,000 of debt before they earn one penny.
They then have to consider buying a house, having children and then start saving for a pension.
Many MPs do not see a problem, especially those in the cabinet, due to the fact that £10,000-a-year tuition fees is common in the private schools many of them attended.
Apart from the financial debt this imposes on students, there is the huge psychological debt of a burden that continues to grow.
What a strange way to reward our brightest, most hard-working pupils.
Finally, if debts are so damaging to a rich, powerful nation, how is it they are considered so beneficial to a penniless graduate?