Greens plan protests over loan book sale

The Green Party is organising protests across the country against plans to sell off the student loan book.

November 15, 2013

A “Day of Action” is planned for 20 November and will feature hundreds of students and graduates, the party says.

Caroline Lucas, the Green MP for Brighton Pavilion, said that privatisation would lead towards “American-style education system, where studying for a degree can mean being in debt for life”.

“It’s clearly unfair on students, but also on taxpayers who will foot the bill when the government has to pay penalty fees resulting from students being unable to repay,” she added in a statement.

Protests are planned for at least five campuses and will include marches and occupations.

In June this year Danny Alexander, chief secretary to the Treasury, said that the government would raise £15 billion by 2020 by selling off public assets such as the student loan book.

Fears have been raised that a private owner of the loan book would be able to raise interest rates.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills said: “Two years ago, the department categorically ruled out changing the terms of interest rates charged to graduates with existing student loans taken out before 2012.

“Borrowers’ terms and conditions are set down in regulations, and will not be changed as part of any sale.”

He added that there had been no definite decision on whether or when to sell the loan book.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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