Students Ripped Off Campaign
“Far from supporting most students, the Government will instead be hurting their finances”
Our Students Ripped Off report - 8 April 2022
April is the start of a true cost of living crisis when energy bills alone rise by an average of £693/year, with further rises expected in October.
Students are particularly affected by this crisis as they have limited opportunity to work alongside their studies and often live in poorly maintained, draughty properties.
The Government responded in February with a package of partial support for UK households. Yet one measure is highly unpopular and will even hurt student finances for many rather than help them.
How students are affected
Each student household who pays their own energy bill will receive £200 in October to share (so in a typical 4-bed property, each student receives £50). Five years of repayments at £40/year then start in April 2023.
When students graduate and move to various parts of the country for work, they will often live by themselves or in a smaller group.
As repayments are also per household, in our example, each student receives £50 yet is forced to pay back up to £200 each – a truly rotten deal.
And it gets worse. By October, those not yet at University, living at home / in university-owned accommodation, or whose landlord otherwise pay their energy bill, won’t even receive the £200/household. Yet they will still be forced to repay up to £40/year for five years, paying for nothing at a time when energy bills may still be at record highs.
Call to action
This scheme is grossly unfair, so our Students Ripped Off campaign calls on the Government to turn October’s £200 loan into a non-repayable grant and offer further support.
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On 13 April 2022, we were interviewed on BBC Radio 4 about this campaign. Listen back here (from about 30 minutes in):
A link to our full report is available here: