Feeds

Cable lays plan for graduate tax

You want fries and extra income tax payments with that?

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

Vince Cable today laid out the ground rules for debate on funding higher education and strongly hinted he favours a graduate tax. But he stressed this was the start, not the end, of the debate.

Cable, an ex-lecturer at the University of Glasgow, said that after 50 years of expanding universities the UK now had to accept that a period of shrinkage was unavoidable.

He said that whatever future system was chosen it was all but inevitable that students would pay more.

Cable said he accepted the economic contribution of universities. He said:

They do this directly in the case of science, maths, engineering, computer science, medicine, modern languages, and professional services like business studies and accounting.  Even much maligned ‘media studies’ helps to feed one of Britain’s most rapidly growing and successful industries.  And what my father used to describe as ‘arty farty’ subjects feed into the rapidly growing and successful industries like creative design, publishing and music. 

Cable pointed out that when he was in sixth form there were barely two dozen universities to go to, compared to 160 today.

The Business Minister said that in reality almost all students already pay a form of 'graduate tax' in the form of student loan repayments. The problem is that this is like a poll tax - it's the same for everyone regardless of their expected income.

Graduates with medical degrees for instance can expect a higher lifetime income than male arts graduates.

He said: "Payments should be variable and tied to earnings... By looking at the periods of time over which contributions are made, the level of thresholds that trigger the contribution, the rate at which contributions are paid, and the other key variables, it may be possible to levy graduate contributions so that low graduate earners pay no more (or less) and high earners pay more."

He accepted that universities wanted security around funding, but warned they would also have to think creatively about bringing in extra funding. He suggested a greater range of courses and qualifications could be one way to do this like two-year courses or allowing students to transfer between colleges more easily.

The full text of the speech is here. ®

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
Our LOHAN spaceplane ballocket Kickstarter climbs through £8000
Through 25 per cent but more is needed: Get your UNIQUE rewards!
LOHAN tunes into ultra long range radio
And verily, Vultures shall speak status unto distant receivers
NASA to reformat Opportunity rover's memory from 125 million miles away
Interplanetary admins will back up data and get to work
SpaceX prototype rocket EXPLODES over Texas. 'Tricky' biz, says Elon Musk
No injuries or near injuries. Flight stayed in designated area
EOS, Lockheed to track space junk from Oz
WA facility gets laser-eyes out of the fog
Volcanic eruption in Iceland triggers CODE RED aviation warning
Lava-spitting Bárðarbunga prompts action from Met Office
LOHAN Kickstarter breaks NINETEEN THOUSAND of your EARTH POUNDS
That's right, OVER 9,000 beer tokens - and counting
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.