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Student Finance

The resolution and SI were passed today. Now we can continue to work to improve the system.

What I am looking for is to move the whole system away from the concept of debt towards that of a future (contingent) tax liability. This is important because then people will not be put off going to university with the thought of debt.

Over the years I have paid probably millions of pounds in various taxes. Had I thought that by going to University I would be asked to pay millions of pounds it could have raised some concern.

However, the payments were a future tax liability. The liability only became due if tax was to be due.

The same principle applies to the finance for tuition. Hopefully we won't have anyone paying fees. That is also something I am working on. We have managed to get rid of fees for over half of the students.


absolutely gutted. nothing but a lot of hot air!! I'm more disappointment that I wasted a vote on you!! NEVER AGAIN!!! SHAME ON YOU!
Jerry said…
John, from what I have seen today, I am so ashamed to think we live in a civilized democracy that being the students can hold the country "hostage" in order to get what they want,(or tried) I saw students completely defacing statues and land marks for no reason at all, the students wanting a peaceful protest would have been fine but sadly from what I witnessed today I would not be too surprised if the police stamp down hard on the protesters who caused the centre of London to grind to a halt, seeing protesters defacing the statue of Sir Winston Churchill was an absolute disgrace.

I even saw some of the press even enticing the destruction.

The Laws of peaceful protest needs an urgent overhaul, I saw the heavy handed police use excessive force on completely innocent passers by.

All of this was as I believe because the Students did not really understand the governments proposed bill.

Sexed up by the press doesn't help the cause either.

I would also say that the media has played a big role in this by shouting the odds every day all over the front pages, if the students and media just sat down and read the policies from start to finish it might of been a different matter.

I also find it a complete disgrace to some of the comments that people have put on your blog John.

Yeah they seem frustrated and annoyed with the broken promise but again they did not read the promise right in the first place.

I just hope now the lessons will be learned from this Tuition Fee Policy, along with the the way the protests was handled, lord only knows what has happened to the innocent people caught up in the fiasco.

Here's an Idea John, next time the Coalition want to introduce a policy, Tell no one and we will all be happy.
PoliticalHackUK said…
Jerry - what is unclear about an unequivocal promise to constituents to vote against any increase in tuition fees?

John broke that promise.
PoliticalHackUK said…
I'm sure that John has paid millions of pounds in taxes and I'm delighted that he has - contributing to society is a moral duty as well as a legal one.

There is a difference between income tax or corporation tax liability arising from income during a year and a five figure debt - rising with interest - generated at the very start of your career, with payments hiked at just the point where you might be considering starting a family or buying a house.
John Hemming said…
The point about the system is that the payments only become due in the same was as other tax payments.

The pledge was quite clear. It talked about getting a fairer alternative. That fairer alternative is a graduate tax with a cap. For the majority of graduates the amount of the fee has no effect on their payments. Hence the system is in accordance with the pledge.
Unknown said…
Yes the pledge was clear - your leader, your party, and I presume you, pledged to vote against tuition fees.

Nick Clegg admitted the promise will be broken:

Here's a pic of the pledge:
"I really think tuition fees are wrong"
Nick Clegg.

As far as I know every lib dem candidate signed this pledge.
It clearly says you will vote against a rise in tuition fees.

See John, that's the thing about the internet - everything you say is recorded and can be brought back up again.

Your blog piece is disingenous and frankly wrong in terms of economics - a fee/loan system of debt is totally different to a tax.
The debt is not a tax liability, it is a debt.

Interest is paid on the debt.

It affects your credit rating.

It means that you pay based on your parents wealth, not on how much you earn. This is because those with rich parents who can afford to pay the fees upfront and not get loans never pay interest, whereas those forced to take loans do.
It is by nature regressive - those who earn less accrue more in interest, thus paying more in total than those who earn more. Under a graduate tax, higher earners would pay more than lower earners.

A fees/loan system is totally different to a future tax liability.

Never mind eh? the lib dems are polling in single figures now. your grab for power has ruined you nationally. I hope the local parties can survive, but the national party will be dead at the next election.
John Hemming said…
Do get your facts right.
Unknown said…
I've got eyes John, I can use them to read the pledge Nick Clegg is holding in the photo I've linked to. It says, very clearly:

"I pledge to vote against any increase in fees"

It then goes on to talk about introducing a fairer alternative, without saying anything specific.

As far as I know, all Lib Dem candidates signed this pledge -are you saying that you didn't?

Yesterday 27 Lib Dem MPs, including yourself, voted to raise the cap on tuition fees.
Please can you explain how voting in favour of legislation to increase the cap on tuition fees does not break a pledge to vote against any increase in tuition fees.
If I'm wrong about you signing the pledge, could you put up a list of which Lib Dem MPs did and didn't sign the pledge.
I'm referencing all the facts I have, I'd appreciate it if you could tell me where I'm wrong, rather than just telling me to get my facts right.

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