Raise levy on high earners, union says

December 5, 2003

Raising income-tax levels for the highest earners is a better way to solve higher education's funding crisis than charging fees, according to an "alternative" white paper from the Cambridge University Students' Union.

The document says that even if all universities charged the full £3,000 fee, the sector would still face a deficit of some £2 billion a year, writes Chris Johnston.

The union believes a new 45 per cent rate of tax for those earning more than £100,000, or an extra 2p on the highest tax rate, could generate the same revenue as a £5,000 top-up fee. "University education would be free for all and maintenance costs could be covered by an adequate loan, which would be repaid once a graduate's earnings reached a sufficient level," it says.

The union claims differential fees will deter debt-averse students.

  • St Hilda's College, Oxford, voted on Wednesday to retain its women-only status. A breakdown of the result was not made public, but last March the college's 33 fellows failed by one vote to obtain the two-thirds majority required to change the college status.


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