iNews is reporting that the Chancellor will go ahead with plans to sell off billions of pounds more of student loans despite warnings it will lose “eye-watering” sums of cash for the taxpayer.
The Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has raised significant doubts over Philip Hammond’s decision to extend the amount of student loans this Parliament from £12bn to £15bn.
It cited concerns that the treatment of the loans sale in the Treasury accounts was “misleading”, adding it did not “strengthen the public finances in any meaningful sense”.
It follows widespread anger over the Treasury’s decision to sell the first tranche of student loans at less than half their £3.5bn face value.
“This does not strengthen the public finances in any meaningful sense – it is simply an alternative way to finance the budget deficit, and a relatively expensive one at that, given current borrowing costs,” the OBR said.
The shadow Education Secretary Angela Rayner criticised the move, saying: “Even on their own figures, the last sale lost eye-watering sums of money compared to the value of the loan book as a public asset, leaving private investors to reap the rewards.”
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