FDs reject graduate tax plans

Link: Graduate tax on the way

The government may be looking at ways to fund higher education but, say FDs, introducing a graduate tax is not the solution.

According to this week’s Accountancy Age/ Reed Accountancy Personnel Big Question, almost three in four disagreed with this option compared to less than one in five who thought it was a good idea.

George Sutherland, Edinburgh University FD, said: ‘The government makes a big deal of the value of a degree and that graduates earn so much more than non-graduates. That being so, the graduates already pay more in tax.’

Another FD argued such a tax would have a knock-on effect. ‘If you tax graduates more, they will demand more pay,’ he said. ‘Newly-qualifieds must be paid more to make a degree worthwhile and more experienced graduates will be raking it in.’

‘I cannot see the point of this,’ said Nick Watkins, FD at Contisteel Limited. ‘It’s “robbing Peter to pay Paul” and will create a further tax administration burden.’

But others disagree with this sentiment and think students should make direct contributions to the furthering of their education. ‘I believe all students should be treated the same irrespective of parental income,’ said one FD. ‘Collecting a contribution from future pay would ensure this.’

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