I confronted Universities Minister Jo Johnson MP in the House of Commons, accusing the Government of fraudulent behaviour for changing the terms of student loans after they had entered into agreements.
I made the claims when speaking on a new clause that I had tabled to the Higher Education Bill, seeking to prevent the Government making retrospective changes to student loan agreements. The changes rescinded the agreement that the £21,000 threshold at which graduates begin repaying loans would rise in line with wage increases.
The government’s own figures show that a graduate with a salary of between £21,000 and £30,000 will have to pay £6,100 more over their lifetime than they would if the system to which they signed up was maintained.
I quoted from a letter I’d received from a Sheffield University student who said: “Neither banks nor lending companies would be allowed to get away with such a modification to their terms and conditions”.
In my view the government is guilty of fraudulent behaviour. If you buy a car under a loan agreement, the deal can’t be changed to make you pay more. The same should apply to the Government. I’m very disappointed that they refused to think again.