THE BLOG
06/02/2016 03:22 GMT | Updated 05/02/2017 05:12 GMT

David Cameron Snubs My Retrospective Student Loan Hike Open Letter

Two weeks ago I sent the Prime Minister an open letter about the disgraceful retrospective hike in student loans. Those who started university since 2012 currently repay 9% of everything earned above £21,000 - this threshold was supposed to rise annually from 2017, but the Government has now frozen it.

The impact of this is substantial. It will leave millions, including many who've already now left university, paying £1,000s more for their loans than they were told when they signed up.

I have now received the Prime Minister's reply, or more accurately, I have now received a response telling me he won't be replying.

This isn't just a financial and legal issue (though I have hired lawyers to investigate it), far more importantly it's a moral one. This retrospective change is unfair, goes against all terms of good governance and risks damaging the trust young people have, not just in the student finance system, but in the entire political system.

That's the reason I asked the Prime Minister to look, intervene and meet me to discuss how to mitigate the damage. The letter I sent has received widespread publicity, been massively shared on social media, raised much awareness of the issue and had huge support.

Yet the Prime Minister has simply snubbed my letter and, by proxy, potentially millions of students.

Instead of a reply from the Prime Minister, or even a member of the Cabinet, my letter is from Jo Johnson MP, the Minister of State for Universities. Not only that, but much of it is a simple cut and paste from the pro-forma response Tory MPs sent during the consultation - and of course its lack of specificity fails to address the vast majority of my concerns.

While Mr Johnson does invite me to meet him, he knows as well as I do, I have already done so - before the consultation, and I vociferously raised the concerns then. So while I will take up his offer and meet him again, I suspect I would have as much joy explaining the problems with this huge cost hike to a brick wall.

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