Saturday, January 12, 2008

another stealth tax

So, I have just been reading through the glossy leaflet supplied by the Student Loan people about repayment of my loan. Although the interest rate is just casually stated somewhere in the middle it would appear to be getting on for double what it used to be. And then there is the small fact that although repayments have been automatically deducted from my wages they won't be taken off what I actually owe until April. On this basis, the interest I will end up paying is not simply "rate of inflation" as is claimed. If this was a private company they could rightly be done for false advertising and making misleading claims.

I'm quite annoyed to be honest. I wonder how many people haven't even read this small print and are obliviously paying back their loans without thinking about it.

Those of you up North will probably still vote Labour because "income tax hasn't really increased" but to me this is just another example of a dishonest government bleeding us for more money.

5 comments:

Gareth P said...

As one of those up North it pains me to agree with you JP. Infact, it seems even more insidious than a stealth tax. By that I mean a cynic (such as your good self JP) might wonder what happens to the money taken from graduates each month before the IR get it. If it sits in a bank account somewhere whose is the interest earnt on it? A cynic might even suggest that not only are we paying more in interest the IR on our loans but someone else is earning our interest whilst holding our money until giving it to the IR. Just a thought...

dave said...

It is a private company JP.

dave said...

As for the jibe at the North, STEALTHILY disguised. Translation: People up North don't have the insight to realise they're being taxed.

Let's look at the facts.

More people up North vote Conservative now than in the 1970s and 1980s. More people in the South vote Labour now than in the 1970s and 1980s.

I can dance all day. I can dance all day.

dave said...

Also Gareth P. Your insights are spot on. How else would a private company go about making money after purchasing a massive amount of debt from the govenment? IT IS CALLED THE ECONOMY.

Seriously, you want it to be a private, free economy then when people exploit this to MAKE MONEY, you start moaning. Sigh.

JP said...

Hello Dave.

Sorry, but you're wrong:

See
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Student_Loans_Company, which says that "The Student Loans Company Limited is a non-departmental public body of the United Kingdom government, responsible for the provision of financial support to students attending university."

Of course, by hiding behind the moniker of a "Limited Company" they can do all sorts of wrong and blame 'privatisation' and 'evil capitalists' and the like. This government is really rather good at that, and it's amazing how many apparently intelligent people are so easily fooled.

Meanwhile, my "stealthily" jibe at Northerners was a gross generalisation, a sort of caricature if you like. It was nothing to do with people being too stupid to think about tax. Rather, in a not very clear way, I was getting at those people who are so stuck in their ways that they will never vote for anyone else. Yes, many such people I have met are from up North. Yes, they try and initially justify their actions by pointing to some apparently good headline policy such as "no increase in income tax". But prod a bit further and what really comes out is "my parents hated Margaret Thatcher so I'll never vote Conservative". Any thought of being tolerant or making an educated decision goes out of the window.

Finally, your views on private companies are interesting. It's a fact of life that things seldom reach ideals, and no-one likes being exploited. But you seem to imply that this is only true of the private sector. Our government would never exploit anyone, oh no. All the money they take in taxes is spent sensibly. All the money they charge us to use the trains is reinvested in the railway, and ditto for the roads. Hmmm. Stop dancing and wake up to life under Labour in 21st Century Britain.