Letter: Debt and taxes 1

November 16, 2001

The argument for fees or a graduate tax is that as a graduate benefits financially from a degree, he or she should repay the taxpayer who footed the bill.

But high-earning graduates pay a higher tax and add value to the economy through services to commerce, industry, medicine and education.

Upfront tuition fees steal from those who will not gain from a degree: students' parents. A special tax would force the graduate to pay twice for a single advantage.

Those higher education leaders (Leading article, THES , November 9) who see higher fees as the way to halt universities' financial decline have little capacity for economics and have moral standards even lower than the government's.

We may then need to address a more fashionable interest. Money cannot be found to avoid the collapse of UK higher education, but it is readily available to flatten much of Afghanistan.

Perhaps we could get somewhere by reminding Tony Blair that the war against terrorism will succeed only with more investment in education and intelligence (not spies).

Andrew Morgan

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