Wales discuss writing off Welsh students' debt, England announce loan crackdown

In England the University Minister warns of a "loan crackdown" and threatens graduates with prosecution if they fail to repay their loan in time. Meanwhile, in magical utopia Wales, MPs discuss repaying even more of Welsh students' fees than they already do.

In England - the crackdown

University Minister Jo Johnson (Boris's little brother) has announced that students who fail to repay their student loan in time could face prosecution.

The government said that it will take "stronger measures" to pursue people who they believe to be avoiding student loan repayment.

In a statement to the House of Commons, Mr Johnson said: "As more loans are issued to new students each year, it is vital that the repayment process is robust."

"We will do more to support borrowers who seek to meet their loan repayment obligations and, in the interests of fairness to both the taxpayer and to borrowers that meet their obligations, we will be tougher on those who do not."

"We will take stronger action to trace borrowers including those overseas, act to recover loan repayments where it is clear that borrowers are seeking to avoid repayment, consider the use of sanctions against borrowers who breach loan repayment terms and, if necessary, prosecute."

"This approach is fair for borrowers and good for the effective management of public money, providing value for the taxpayer and helping to ensure that the student finance system remains on a sustainable footing."

"We will keep the strategy under review to ensure that the repayment system continues to meet these objectives, and we will report annually on progress."

The majority of students actually meet their loan repayments, according to the Student Loans Company (SLC).

The government have also frozen the point at which graduates start to repay their loans at £21,000, in an attempt to recoup more money from students. As it currently stands, student loans are written off after 30 years, though the government have made no pledge to continue this policy.

Meanwhile, in Wales

Meanwhile, in magical utopia Wales, MPs have been discussing paying fees on behalf of all Welsh students. Plaid Cymru have said that students who return to Wales to work after their degrees should have £6,000 a year of debts written off by the Welsh government.

Students from Wales currently only pay £3,810 towards their tuition fees, no matter where they study in the UK. The rest is paid for by Wales. Plaid Cymru want to increase the amount that the Welsh government pays to £6,000 a year in order to ensure that Welsh students can afford to study wherever they want to in the UK.

Plaid's education spokesman said: "The Party of Wales wants everyone to be able to study any subject and in any university they want to."

"But the current tuition fee policy means we give more money to universities outside of Wales than we do inside of Wales."

"This is unsustainable and Plaid Cymru believes that this is wrong."

"Our plans will enable students from Wales to study anywhere they want, and will ensure that the Welsh economy can benefit from the talent of Welsh students."

Labour to continue subsidy policy

Education Minister Huw Lewis has suggested Labour will continue to subsidise Welsh student's tuition fees if it wins the next election, but said that grants (which still remain in Wales, despite being scrapped in England) may be means-tested.

The Conservatives have said they would scrap grants altogether in Wales, bringing it in line with the UK system as a whole - where tuition fees are not subsidised by government, and grants no longer exist for poorer students.

English students are advised to become Welsh as soon as possible, in order to avoid a further rise in debt.

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