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New book proposes all-age graduate tax

3 July 2017

Happy graduates

A new book published by Professor Andy Green from the UCL Institute of Education (IOE) calls for the government to scrap the system of fees and loans, restore maintenance grants and fund higher education in England through an all-age graduate tax plan.

The book, The Crisis for Young People, Generational Inequalities in Education, Work, Housing and Welfare, maps out the growing 'crisis of intergenerational inequality', as today's young people face soaring housing costs, uncertain job prospects and large student debt repayments as they progress through adulthood.

It explores the extent and scope of generational divides through an up-to-date analysis of the changing opportunities for young people in Britain across different life domains. Professor Green asks whether current changes are best understood as growing inequalities within and across age groups, or whether we face a genuine intergenerational decline over the life course of this and future generations of youth.

The book argues that an all-age graduate tax would be a middle way between today's regime of fees and loans and Labour's general election promise to fund higher education entirely through general taxation.

Speaking of the proposal, Professor Green said:

"Perhaps surprisingly, the case for an all-age graduate tax has not previously been set out or evaluated. Now that we know the extent of the problems with our fees and loans policy, this would be a good time to debate it. It would place higher education funding on a much more stable foundation, as well as making an important contribution to reducing intergenerational inequity."

The book is published by Palgrave and is available on open access.

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Image: graduates, courtesy of E.W. Scripps School of Journalism via Flickr (CC 2.0).