STUDENT DEBT SOARS UNDER THE SNP GOVERNMENT
Local MSP, Jackie Baillie has called on the Scottish Government to apologise after new figures reveal that they have broken their promise to write off student debt.
The figures show that student debt has soared by 169 per cent to almost £5billion under the SNP, despite a nationalist pledge to write off student debt entirely. Average student debt is now £13,200 which is more than double the £6,070 debt that was inherited by the SNP.
In the run up to the 2007 Scottish Elections, Nicola Sturgeon told the Scottish Parliament that an incoming SNP government would ‘meet the debt repayments of Scottish graduates living in Scotland’. Meanwhile their election literature promised to:
‘… write off the cumulative debt still owed to the student loans company by Scottish domiciled students.’
Despite this promise, at the same time as student debt has soared, the average student bursary payment has reduced by 22 per cent. And the figures also show that students from the poorest backgrounds are more likely to take out higher loans.
“Despite promises from the SNP to write off student debt, the average debt for a Scottish graduate now stands at more than double the amount that the SNP inherited.
“Students have been left with no other option as the SNP’s support package is weighted towards loans rather than bursaries. And students from the poorest background are being saddled with the biggest debts.
“This government owes students an unreserved apology for failing to uphold the promise that they pledged to would deliver, but turned their backs on as soon as they were voted in.”
Notes to Editors
Nicola Sturgeon said:
“We will not force students into deeper and deeper debt. We will restore grants, abolish tuition fees and meet the debt repayments of Scottish graduates living in Scotland. That is a real investment in Scotland’s future.”
Source: March 29, 2007, Scottish Parliament debate available at: http://www.parliament.scot/parliamentarybusiness/report.aspx?r=4720&i=38515&c=895695&s=!!debt!!
Total Student is now nearly £5 billion
The total loan balance at the start of the 2007-08 financial year was £1.85bn. (https://www.slc.co.uk/media/5502/slcsfr012008.pdf table 1)
The total loan balance at the end of the 2017-18 financial year was £4.98bn (https://www.slc.co.uk/media/10028/slcsp042018.pdf p5)
This represents a 169 per cent increase.
Average student debt in Scotland is now £13,200, it was £6,070 in 2007
Source: Chart 5 at https://www.slc.co.uk/media/10028/slcsp042018.pdf
Figures release this week confirm that the SNP has cut bursaries and grants by a third since 2012, and increased loans by 182 per cent
Source: Table 3.1 at http://www.saas.gov.uk/_forms/statistics_1718.pdf