Leave those Kids A-Loan

A national day of action prompted by the planned sell-off of the student loans book will hit York on Saturday, campaigners have announced.

Green Party Press Officer Josiah Mortimer has urged students to join the demonstration against the planned privatisation which could surge the interest on student loans.

The protest, co-ordinated by the Student Assembly Against Austerity, will begin outside the JB Morrell Library at 10am with a rally at the same place starting at 12.30pm.

Mortimer said: “It’s vital that York students come together to oppose this sell-off. The campaign against the privatisation is growing day by day and York students, and indeed alumni, can play a crucial role as part of a national movement in halting this further affront to young people.”

It comes in response to an announcement by Liberal Democrat Chief Secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander back in June, which confirmed that graduate debt dating from 1998 to 2012 will be sold off to private investors.

In order for this to be done, the government may offer a ‘sweetener’ which would allow the buyers to increase rates on student debt.

Another possibility is a ‘synthetic hedge’, which would give government subsidies to private buyers, to ensure that they profit from the purchase.

Although those paying the new £9,000 threshold won’t be affected, the privatisation does pave the way for those students to be affected in the future.

Green Party MP Caroline Lucas, who is supporting the student day of action, said: “Education is one of the most important rights we have, but the Government seems intent on treating it as a source of profit for private investors.”

“Students are right to be angry, and to exercise their right to peaceful protest against yet another harmful and unnecessary privatisation.”

Jack Gevertz
Jack Gevertz is the former editor-in-chief of York Vision.