I’m not so sure that a graduate tax is such a good idea. In fact I think that it could convince many of our brightest graduates to leave this country and thereby avoid paying the tax altogether.
At the moment there are tuition fees to be paid by our undergraduates. Although that puts them immediately into debt (by around a daunting £20,000, according to some studies) at least they don’t have to start paying the loan back until they earn more than £15,000 per year.
They’ve had the enhanced education and now they realise that they have to pay back some of the costs, and luckily have a long time in which to do so.
If there is a graduate tax then the situation is different. Our brightest students receive the tertiary education and then will be forced to pay back the costs through paying higher taxes. The more they earn the greater the tax.
And also the greater the incentive to emigrate to another country and avoid paying back their tuition fees altogether.
So our most able graduates will be snapped up by welcoming countries and they therefore receive their education free and at the expense of those who chose to stay.
Perhaps a graduate tax is not such a good idea after all.