Theresa May 'looking at plans to cut interest rates on student debt'

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Theresa May is said to be examining proposals to ease the burden of student debt in a move to win back young voters.

The Prime Minister is looking at plans to change the formula through which graduates pay interest rates, The Sunday Telegraph said. Currently they can be as high as six per cent, more than double the rate of inflation.

Consideration is also being given to efforts to name and shame universities that charge high fees but which don’t give students value for money, according to the newspaper.

It comes after Mrs May’s disastrous general election campaign in which her authority was weakened as large amounts of young voters appeared to back Jeremy Corbyn.

His party gained seats after running on an anti-austerity platform that included a pledge to scrap tuition fees.

A Number 10 source described the report, which comes just a few weeks ahead of the Conservative Party conference, as “pure speculation” but Mrs May’s close allies have this summer voiced concerns over student debt and higher education.

Last month her former chief of staff Nick Timothy described higher education as an “unsustainable and ultimately pointless Ponzi scheme” that burdens graduates with debt and needs radical reform.

Her most senior minister, First Secretary of State Damian Green, has also suggested there may need to be a “national debate” on tuition fees.


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