I blogged the other day about why I couldn't quite work out we hadn't called the new arrangements on HE Student funding a graduate tax.
It's been suggested that this was prevented by the Treasury - and I've submitted a Freedom Of Information request to the Department of Business et al to see if this is true. They have acknowledged the request and said I will have a reply by 3rd October - watch this space!
Meantime it's also been suggested that the new scheme can't be called a graduate tax because...
It isn't a graduate tax because a) it is time limited, and b) it is only on future graduates not all graduates
Well I've checked a feew classical definitions of a tax - the one I've printed below is from 'Investor Words'. And on this basis, I think we'd be fine in technical terms.
A fee charged ("levied") by a government on a product, income, or activity. If tax is levied directly on personal or corporate income, then it is a direct tax. If tax is levied on the price of a good or service, then it is called an indirect tax. The purpose of taxation is to finance government expenditure. One of the most important uses of taxes is to finance public goods and services, such as street lighting and street cleaning. Since public goods and services do not allow a non-payer to be excluded, or allow exclusion by a consumer, there cannot be a market in the good or service, and so they need to be provided by the government or a quasi-government agency, which tend to finance themselves largely through taxes.
However, let's see what advice was given to the department - could be illuminating!