No Grants? No Thanks

By Stephanie Lomas – Reporter

In this week’s budget announcement the Chancellor, George Osborne, announced plans to integrate the maintenance grant into the maintenance loan for students from low income families. Speaking from the Commons, he stated: “We will increase the maintenance loan available to £8,200, the highest amount of support ever provided.”

Whilst this is true, it is also true that the students requiring the highest amount of support will have a massive debt to celebrate their graduation with. According to repayment calculator, a student will graduate a 3 year degree with a starting debt of £54,945. It will take them approximately 30 years to pay it back based on a graduate’s average pay and in total they would pay £81,286 for their education.

However according to Mr Osborne, it is paramount that these cuts are made because there was “basic unfairness in asking taxpayers to fund grants for people who are likely to earn a lot more than them”. In order for us to earn the money from higher paid jobs, we need a degree, and for us to achieve the degree we need support. Without the support, the only people who will be able to afford their education are those who put the budget in place – the selfish, elitist, nonsensical charlatans currently in government.

Current NUS President Megan Dunn clearly explains the issue with this new strategy, she says: “If grants are cut, it could mean the cost of student loans will go up for everyone or repayment conditions will get tougher than they already are. This is yet another unreasonable barrier to accessing higher education.”

Plus we are constantly contributing to the country’s economy. According to figures provided by NUS ‘Student spending supported over £80bn of UK economic output, which is roughly one third of the total contribution of the aviation sector to UK GDP.” Yet we are called scroungers, who are a detriment to the economy.

As a student, I’m not asking for it to be free and to get money for going to university (though I wouldn’t say no to that idea). All I need is the Government to make an investment in my ability and my future earning potential. Over my working life I will potentially contribute at least £336810 based on my degrees average income, yet the £10,000 maintenance grant that I receive in total, is too much to ask for.

A full time degree is easily as time consuming as a full time job, I personally go beyond the usual 40 hour week to make sure my grades are the ones I need to succeed in my aspirations so I am not asking the Government to fund my social life.

I will pay that back within the student loan I currently have; I want them to contribute to my future growth which in turn will become the country’s future growth. As a mature student, I am positive that I have given at least £10,000 of my earnings to the inland revenue over the years, but I haven’t given it to them as a loan – though maybe I should do now.

In fact I spoke to a local member of my community who advised that “I would rather spend £10,000 on each student who in the future will contribute to society than a person who has spent the last 15 years on job seekers because they couldn’t be bothered to find a job.”

So to Mr Cameron, Mr Osbourne and Mr Javid, if you truly care about the economic stability of the country then refuse the 11% pay increase you welcomed earlier this year, reduce the extortionate pensions you receive from the moment you leave office, sell your multiple properties bought with our hard earned money. After that is done, if you can honestly say you had no alternative but to offer this cut, then I will pay it – but not a penny beforehand.

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