Is selling student loans to the private sector such a bad thing?

The terms of student debt would have to be nailed down if it were sold – which would stop ministers flexing repayments at will

In politics there are three types of U-turn. There are the ones stunt drivers call J-turns, where you spin 180 degrees in a haze of smoke and then disappear. There are the laborious three-point turns, which are messier but have the same end result. And there are the illusory U-turns. These end up being a longer route to the original destination. This is almost certainly what is happening with the sale of the £100bn student loan book to the private sector.

Successive governments have promised – but failed – to sell off a substantial tranche of student loans as a way of raising cash. Gordon Brown wanted to but ran out of time. The coalition was initially determined to, but Vince Cable blocked a sale for political reasons.

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The terms of student debt would have to be nailed down if it were sold – which would stop ministers flexing repayments at will

In politics there are three types of U-turn. There are the ones stunt drivers call J-turns, where you spin 180 degrees in a haze of smoke and then disappear. There are the laborious three-point turns, which are messier but have the same end result. And there are the illusory U-turns. These end up being a longer route to the original destination. This is almost certainly what is happening with the sale of the £100bn student loan book to the private sector.

Successive governments have promised – but failed – to sell off a substantial tranche of student loans as a way of raising cash. Gordon Brown wanted to but ran out of time. The coalition was initially determined to, but Vince Cable blocked a sale for political reasons.

 

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