Are student loan repayments an inverted wealth tax?

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The Guardian, FT and others have reported this morning on a new report from the Institute for Fiscal Studies on the cost of student loans, which is another ongoing neoliberal scandal within the UK economy.

The details of the report do not matter greatly. What the IFS suggests is that because of the rise in interest rates, the government is now bound to lose money on student loans in the future. The obvious conclusion is that, yet again, we need to return to an era of near-zero interest rates because nothing else serves anyone in society so long as high taxes on wealth suck the unearned gains to those with assets back into the public realm. The IFS do not say that, of course.

But this opened another question for me. I have been wondering whether to include student loan repayments in the Taxing Wealth Report 2024 since they are, in my opinion, a highly discriminatory tax that few with real wealth pay as the wealthy cover their offspring's debts.

So, a few questions:

Are student loan repayments a tax by any other name?

  • Yes (90%, 418 Votes)
  • I don't know (6%, 29 Votes)
  • No (3%, 15 Votes)

Total Voters: 462

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And then this:

Are stiudent loan repayments a regressive tax on those without the wealth to pay their student fees when at university?

  • Yes (93%, 423 Votes)
  • I don't know (5%, 22 Votes)
  • No (3%, 12 Votes)

Total Voters: 457

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And finally:

Should I refer to student loan repayments as a tax in the Taxing Wealth Report 2024?

  • Yes (84%, 382 Votes)
  • I don't know (13%, 58 Votes)
  • No (4%, 16 Votes)

Total Voters: 456

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