The IFS report has calculated that in the long term the government will foot the bill of £5.9bn a year in unpaid student loans, which are written off after 30 years.

Paul Johnson described the reimbursement threshold freeze as a “clear choice and change of policy” on the part of the Treasury, adding: “The threshold has been increased in each of the [the] four years, and income indexation was the declared policy. Student ‘loans’ are treated as taxes not loans – wouldn’t let private providers change terms like this. »

The news came as ministers were set to publish their long-awaited response to an official higher education review, known as the Augar review, in the coming weeks.

Conducted by Sir Philip Augar, the former stockbroker, the exam was the first since 1963 that the government ordered in higher and further education.

Matt Western, Labour’s Shadow Universities Minister, said: ‘We have a cost of living crisis in Downing Street, and while No 10 is paralyzed Rishi Sunak is raising taxes on millions of people.

“Labour has a plan to help hard-working families, including cutting VAT on energy bills, saving most households £200, paid for by a windfall levy on the profits of oil producers and North Sea gas.”

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