BMA Study: Consultant Surgeons Will Not Be Able To Pay Off Student Debt

28th July 2017 / United Kingdom
BMA Study: Consultant Surgeon's Will Not Be Able To Pay Off Student Debt

By Graham Vanbergen: Government’s of all tribes in Britain have fundamentally lied to the electorate over student debt. Labour, Lib-Dems and Conservative have all been in power and all backed the financialisation of higher education. Many students were promised by Labour shadow ministers before the last election that “every existing student will have all their debts wiped off” if Labour gained power.

However, Jeremy Corbyn ended up completing a ‘U-turn’ by admitting that he wouldn’t be able to write off debts as promised because Labour had made the (vote-winning) commitment without really thinking it through because they were ‘unaware’ of the size of the debt burden.

ThisIsMoney reports that “The interest rate charged on student loans in England and Wales will rocket to as high as 6.1 per cent from September.” The amount charged is updated each September and is based on the Retail Prices Index inflation rate from the March of the same year, which was revealed this year as being 3.1 per cent last month (April 2017).

What this means for the average student is that there is little to no hope of ever paying off their debts. But would this be the same for a high earner like a consultant surgeon?

I do not need to explain this further as Student Loan Calculator does this so much better thus:

There is no more prestigious job title than that of ‘Consultant Surgeon’. The surgeons of tomorrow will endure 15 years of training and at least £63,400 of student debt before they can earn such a title, and the impressive salaries that go with it.

With student loan interest rates set to rise to 6.1%, the mantra is that only high earners will ever pay off their student loan. But is this true? Does a consultant surgeon qualify as a ‘high earner’? We used the calculator to find out if even these bright minds have any hope of paying off their student loan.


Graduating at around 23 years of age, a junior doctor will start on a salary of £26,614 and train for a further 10 years before becoming a surgeon. Whereas the interest rates of pre-2012 students were frozen at 1.25%, post-2012 student loans incur interest at a whopping RPI plus 3%; that will mean interest rates of 6.1% for those earning over £41,000.

Post-2012 students are effectively being levied with a graduate tax disguised as a student loan they can never pay off.

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These student ‘loans’ use the old retail prices index as a measure of inflation, which is no longer used by government as an official national statistic methodology, but nevertheless, the way of disguising this theft from a largely unsuspecting up and coming demographic is to use covert tools that profit the banks. Just wait until this lot grow up! They will have children who might want to go to university themselves and will still be paying off their own debt.

The advantage given to the banks is that students do not start paying back their loans until they are earning at least £21,000 but the extortionate interest rate charged on the loan starts from the day it is taken out, literally compounding the problem.

However, the BMJ drills down a little harder and now calculates that a medical student living away from home would actually accrue debt as a minimum of between £64 000 and £82 000 by the time of graduation and that an average female doctor would repay £75, 786 and the average male doctor would repay £110, 644.

The researchers said that in the case of initial debts below £50 000 women repaid more, despite earning less, because women’s debts lasted longer and accrued more interest. For initial debts above £50 000 men repaid more because their average yearly salaries were higher. In all case studies, no doctor or consultant surgeon on average pay was able to pay off student debt prior to the 30 year limit being reached.

Current outstanding debt on student loans in the UK jumped by 16.6% to £100.5bn in just one year as at the end of March this year, up from £86.2bn a year earlier, according to the Student Loans Company. Each year this will get compounded as this new rate only starts from 2012.


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