It now appears that £5 billion out of £22 billion government loans to students has become unaccountable. That is civil service speak for lost! What exactly do civil servants do all day?
There are 368,000 student borrowers for whom there is no current employment record, or other details on earnings, according to a study by spending watchdog the National Audit Office [NAO]. It means the Government does not have enough information to decide whether these students should be making repayments on their loans, and if so, how much.
More than a third [35%] of new loans taken out are not “expected” to be repaid, according to Government figures, and around half of students are not expected to repay their debt fully. It appears that civil servants spend their day working out the percentage of people who they are not monitoring correctly.
Last week we were told that the government has sold £890m of student loans to a debt management consortium for £160m. Another good deal?
This is a system that has failed young people at every level, and which is then clearly completely incompetent when it comes to recouping missing funds. Liam Byrne has it that so many loans are being written off that the new system is more expensive than the old one. People do not feel they owe the government anything, and it is made it far, far too easy for a generation of angry people to disappear.