Government emphasis on increasing long-term savings has taken another blow with publication of a new survey by the British Medical Association suggesting the average level of final-year student debt is now in excess of £20,000 for those on five-year courses.
This represents a 5% increase – or more than twice the official rate of inflation – on the same time last year for the 1,900 students surveyed, the BMA says. For those on six-year courses the debt load averages more than £22,600.
One-in-10 surveyed had debts of more than £25,000, about 100 owed £30,000 or more, while one owed more than £55,000.
The average basic annual salary for a first-year junior doctor is £20,295, the BMA adds.
The government currently is launching consultation on proposals put forward by Pensions Commission head Adair Turner at the end of November, which called for employees to contribute 5% earnings gross, or 4% net of 1% relief provided by government. Employers would provide 3%, taking the total to 8% of earnings to go into a pot administered through a suggested National Pension Savings Scheme. That 5% contribution would come on top of NI and income tax payments.
The average UK house price is about £165,000 or a multiple more than 8 times the average junior doctor’s earnings in their first year.
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