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Liz calls for rethink on student loan repayment changes

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Yesterday I spoke in Westminster Hall on the proposed changes to the student loan repayment system. Many current and former students have been in touch with me regarding the government's plans.

I will always do my best to speak up for young people, who have been so badly affected by many of the decisions made by the Tory government, and I was delighted to be able to speak on their behalf in the debate.

In 2012, the coalition government promised that the threshold for repaying student loans would be set at £21,000 for April 2017 and that this repayment threshold would increase each year in line with average earnings. However, last year the government announced that instead it intended to freeze the threshold at £21,000. The effect of this freeze for students is immense, and it is especially damaging for those earning less. 

The proposed changes are a slap in the face to any students who started courses after 2012 believing that the threshold would rise. The argument has been taken up by Martin Lewis, the 'money saving expert', and a petition to government received more than 130,000 signatures. It was that petition which led to yesterday's debate.

The retrospective changes to the student loan repayment system are unacceptable, unjust and underhand. If the government were a registered commercial company and made retrospective changes to their loan terms, the regulator would not permit the process. 

I believe that an investment in knowledge pays the best interest. I hope that the government will rethink this regressive policy, which is at the heart of all that is underhand, unscrupulous and unfair. If they do not, it will be seen as an act of betrayal for a generation.

It is not just a financial and legal issue; most importantly, it is a moral issue.

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