YEP Letters: September 6

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Check out today’s YEP letters

Business rate burden on hospitals

DS Boyes, Leeds.

THE comments on the PFI burden for NHS hospitals were very good, but this is not the only financial millstone they have to bear, as the dreaded business rates is another.

It seems incredible to most people that any vital public service funded entirely by the taxpayer should have to pay anything like that out of its budget, which only takes more money away from front line medical care. The supreme irony is that many private hospitals are allowed to claim charitable status, which entitles them to an 80 per cent discount on rates!

The same crackpot rule is used by expensive and exclusive public schools like Eton.

It would seem yet another case of the lunatics allowed to take over the asylum, the insane in this case being the politicians who authorise such anomalies.

Maybe some of them have shares in private medical care provision?

Your views on the level of student debt

In YEP feature writer’s Neil Hudson’s column this week he said students of today are looking at £50k of debt - assuming they pay the full £9k a year fees and then add on living costs. We asked YEP readers what they think about the cost of a university education and here’s what some of them said on social media...

Dylan Guilfoyle

Exaggerating. It’s practically free money. [It has to be paid back] after earning £21k a year (still a small amount) and with a degree that, if they were wise in their choices, should enable them to have a job with a salary they would have otherwise found hard to achieve. Not to mention grants. My uni gave people up to £3k a year for free. Student loan gives a little bit for free too. It’s an investment with a return much greater than the loan.

Paul Wright

It’s written off after a certain amount of time, they don’t even start paying it back until their salary is over a certain amount. So yes it’s free!

Benny Karr

One or two year courses artificially stretched out over 3 years and an obsession with going to a uni at least 100 miles from home doesn’t help does it.

Michael Hewitt

The current fees structure is simply kicking the can down the road. Governments can “pass on” the cost of funding university education to the students, but the more that is passed on, the more the tax payer will ultimately has to underwrite. Most graduates will never repay their student loans – the tax payer in 25 years time will be picking up that tab – it’s short-termism at its finest. And then one day we’ll be wondering where all of the talented people have gone.

Dave Ryalls

The taxpayer won’t pick up all the tab because the government has already sold some of the debt on. Tuition fees are in fact £9250 a year in most universities. These are not loans, the students don’t have a debt in the real sense of the word. What they have is a commitment to pay an extra ‘graduate tax’, an additional 9% on ordinary income tax, only if they earn more than £21K, for a maximum of 30 years.

The real scandal in all this is that the Government are adding interest to outstanding ‘debt’ at over 6% per annum.

Naomi Kitt

They expect to party, not have to work to keep themselves, expect someone else to pay their way and we are supposed to feel sorry for them? In the past students did several casual jobs, as well as studying.

Paul Fulthorpe

They did but fees were £3000 a term now it’s £9000, that’s a 200% increase, have part time wages increased by that much? No they haven’t.

Kate Dunstone

Working to pay it off while studying? Completely laughable.

The minimum wage for a person aged 18-21 is £5.60/h. Your combined costs for the year as a student are your maintenance loan and your fees (£13,500 pa in total). You’d need to earn £15,680 pa net to pay all of this and tax/NI. That’s 54 hours a week at min wage, as well as completing all of your coursework, exams, extra curriculars, internships etc.

Cheryl Day Dockerty

If your parents work that is taken into account so you only get the lowest amount given, the rest you have to pay back .

I don’t think this is fair at all as we aren’t the ones going to uni so why should our children be penalised for us working? My son only just had enough to live on, he certainly didn’t have money to go out and we bought him everything and took him shopping over to make sure he had food to eat.

He came home after two years as he hated the house he lived in so much. Very depressing. Wish he had done an apprenticeship.

Connor Malcolm Lawrence

They should have a max of £4,500 a year tuition fees as only half of the loan actually ends up getting paid off when it’s £9,000 but if it was £4,500 it might actually all get paid off. Charge less than that on courses which are less resource intensive and also bring back maintenance grants for the poorest of students.

Louise Marie Ward

Most of this gets written off as people never manage to earn enough; so would be better if it was a lower amount, then even the government would get paid.

Phil Hanson

Universities are coining it in big style, they are the ones exploiting students. If anyone has any doubt, simply go to the Tax Payers Alliance website and look at the huge salaries the universities are paying. £200k is low and there are a heap of folks paid £300k, £400k and more! Ofsted would do well to investigate what value some of these universities are delivering with low grade staff delivering the minimum amount of hours for the full price.

Mick Lucani

you have to earn £21k pa before you start to pay anything and it’s only 9% pa of what you earn.

If you earn £31k, that means you pay back £900 pa, hardly a fortune and if it’s written off after 30 years.

Accept you lost democratic vote

Chris Sharp, Leeds 25

In reply to Mr Wildie (Letters, September 4), do you people want this country to fail?

Unsubstantiated facts seem to be the order of the day . We are coming out, leaving, non members. For heaven’s sake accept that you lost a democratic vote, choose which way you construe it.

Bad legislation forced through

John Cole, Shipley

My Sunday newspaper tells me that Conservative Party whips in the Commons are on full alert to deal strongly with any Tory MP who is inclined to produce amendments to government legislation on Brexit going through the House.

There are dire threats of how “recalcitrant” back benchers will be “dealt with”.

It is well known that nearly two thirds of the Commons, as it was composed in June last year, voted in favour of “Remain”. That was – and still is – their best independent judgement. So what we have here is bad legislation towards a self-harming end being forced through by sheer arm-twisting bullying. The bills to take us out of the EU are not being passed on their own merit. They cannot be – because the 
whole cause is totally lacking in merit.

I will cheer to the rafters any or all Conservative MPs who follow their consciences and good judgement and break ranks with party discipline to halt the rush towards the cliff edge. And whilst I am at it, it would help a great deal if Labour MPs stiffened their own sinews and played their part, Her Majesty’s Loyal Opposition.

Let us know what you think

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