§ Mr. Pawsey
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Science if he will make a statement on the administrative costs of the student loans scheme.
§ Mr. MacGregor
The Student Loans Company's provisional budget for the financial year 1990–91 is £14.25560W million, exclusive of VAT. The figure includes both pre-operational and operational costs. On present estimates, total pre-operational costs will amount to some £10 million, consisting of expenditure of £4.3 million in 1989–90 and £5.8 million in the first five months of 1990–91.
The Government have said throughout the passage of the Education (Student Loans) Bill and subsequently that the administration costs of the loans scheme in the first year of its operation were expected to be in the range £10 million to £20 million. I am pleased to confirm that the outcome is a figure well below the maximum of that range.