Student debt rockets under SNP government, says Labour MSP
By Democrat reporter
Dumbarton and Lomond MSP Jackie Baillie has called on the Scottish Government to tackle student debt as new figures from the Student Loans Company have revealed that total publicly owned student debt in Scotland has hit over £5.5 billion.
The new figures are three times the level of publicly owned student debt at the end of the 2006-07 financial year. It was also revealed that the average loan balance for higher education borrowers on entry into repayment has more than doubled under the SNP.
When Labour left office, the average loan balance for HE graduates when they reached the point at which their loan repayments were due to start, was £6,080, a figure which has rocketed to £13,800 in 2018/19 under the SNP.
Jackie Baillie said: “It is simply unimaginable that publicly owned student debt has tripled since the end of the 2006/07 financial year to more than £5.5 billion.
“The average individual debt level on entry into repayment has more than doubled under the SNP.
“The First Minister promised students in Scotland that there would be no student debt but those graduates have been betrayed by this SNP government. The government must act urgently to get the situation under control.”
Student Loans in Scotland: 2018 to 2019
Average Loan Balance on entry into repayment in Scotland is now £13,800, having increased by £670 since 2018/19. It has also more than doubled since 2007 (£6,080), growing by £7,720.
- Total publicly owned student debt is now over £5 billion, compared to £1.85bn at the end of the 2006-07 financial year.
- Both average Loan Balance on entry into repayment and total publicly owned student debt have risen every year since 2014/15.
The total loan balance at the end of the 2006-07 financial year was £1.85bn. (https://www.slc.co.uk/media/5502/slcsfr012008.pdf table 1
The total loan balance at the end of the 2018-19 financial year was £5.51bn. (https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/808597/slcsp042019.pdf Chart 2