Monday 21 July 2014 8:37 pm

Government sitting on student loan black hole of debt, politicians warn

An influential committee of MPs has warned that the government is sitting on a black hole of student debt which could run into the hundreds of billions by 2044. The business, innovation and skills (BIS) committee is calling on ministers to publish the details of a possible sale of student loan debt, after it emerged that Whitehall departments have consistently underestimated the amount of money being collected from students, who often fail to pay. “The financial funding system for higher education is looking increasingly fragile, coming under the strain of unfunded commitments and poor debt collection. The student loans system needs urgent attention and it’s vital that BIS doesn’t further undermine the viability of the system by selling off the income-contingent loan book at a knock-down price,” chair of the committee Adrian Bailey MP said yesterday.