§ Mr. Willis
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what the cost was to the Treasury of providing income contingent loans for higher education students in each year since 1998–99. 631W
§ Alan Johnson
[holding answer 30 June 2003]: The Secretary of State for Education and Skills only has responsibilities for student loans paid to higher education students domiciled in England and Wales therefore this answer provides data relating to them.
The resource accounting and budgeting (RAB) costs to the Treasury for income contingent loans are shown in the table:
Resource Accounting and Budgeting costs: financial year 1998–99 to 2001–02: England and Wales £ millions Financial Year RAB Charges 1998–99 151 1999–2000 491 2001–01 661 2001–02 822
The fall in the HM Treasury cost of capital rate from six per cent. to 3.5 per cent. which took effect on 1 April 2003 will reduce the resource cost in future years.
§ Mr. Carmichael
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many graduates were due to commence student loan repayments in April 2003; and how many have commenced repayment. 
§ Alan Johnson
251,091 borrowers (UK figure) were due to start repaying their income-contingent student loans in April 2003. The figures for those that have started repayments are not yet available because repayment is based on income and is deducted at source by employers with tax and National Insurance. Details of repayments are notified to the Student Loans Company by the Inland Revenue after the end of the tax year in question.