Recently published figures on student loans by the House of Commons Library have laid bare the extent of Westminster’s debt burden on graduates.
The average debt for graduating students in England was a staggering £44,940 last year, compared with £35,780 in Wales, £24,500 in Northern Ireland and £15,430 in Scotland.
Rising interest rates thanks to the Tories’ disastrous mismanagement of the UK economy saw the interest rates on loan repayments for students who started after 2012 rise to 7.5% in December.
That means that not only are students in England leaving University with a record debt burden; they now face up to £3,370.50 in interest added to their bill annually.
Kenneth Gibson MSP said:
“The Westminster parties simply cannot be trusted to stand up for students.
“Labour introduced tuition fees. The Tories increased them. The Lib Dems promised to scrap them and then u-turned the moment they got into government. In 2020, Keir Starmer promised to scrap tuition fees in England before ditching that promise last year.
“The reality of this policy isn’t merely to saddle graduates with ever-increasing mountains of debt. Studies have shown that high student loan debt acts as a deterrent for students from low-income backgrounds.
“The SNP abolished tuition fees the moment we entered government and have not wavered in 16 years. Scottish students can be assured that university tuition will always remain free in Scotland whilst there’s an SNP government.”