Martin Lewis plans to challenge George Osborne over student loan repayment threshold
Consumer champion Martin Lewis has hired lawyers to investigate the possibility of challenging George Osborne's decision to freeze the repayment threshold for student loans.
Writing on a blog, MoneySavingExpert.com founder Mr Lewis said that he has engaged solicitors to investigate whether there is a basis for a judicial review of the decision and to look at other legal grounds to challenge it.
George Osborne used his Autumn Statement to freeze the level at which graduates start to repay their loans at £21,000, instead of increasing it in line with average earnings.
The measure will apply retrospectively for existing students who had taken out loans, expecting the threshold to rise in line with wages, and is expected to benefit the Exchequer by £360 million a year by 2020-21.
The Blue Book setting out Mr Osborne's decisions said it had been made "to reduce government debt" and the threshold for borrowers under the system introduced in England and Wales from September 2012 would be frozen until April 2021.
The £21,000 limit was due to be increased in line with earnings from 2017, and the change has previously been labelled a "disgrace" by Mr Lewis.
Writing on the blog on the MoneySavingExpert.com website, Mr Lewis said: "How can I, to so many people, in good conscience explain student loans if the Government is prepared to change students' terms after they've signed up, in some cases after they've graduated."
He continued: "In a personal capacity (ie, not MoneySavingExpert.com) I've engaged the solicitors Bindmans to investigate if there are grounds to judicial review this decision and to look at other legal grounds to challenge it (it may be people with student loans will need to agree to take cases - I doubt there'll be a shortage of volunteers)."