A University of Southampton student has responded to a controversial letter, which suggested students should not be exempt from paying council tax.
The letter, which was sent to the Daily Echo by a Bassett Resident, argued that students are “sitting pretty” and contributing nothing towards the upkeep of the city and its amenities.
The response’s author, final year Modern History and Politics student Thomas Gravatt, replied by warning that introducing council tax could force students from low income backgrounds out of university.
He also highlighted that students do not pay council tax anywhere in the country, and pointed out that they contribute to the local economy by patronising local clubs and restaurants. He described university students as the ‘taxpayers of the future’ and university as a time when students learn how to live independently.
Thomas told Wessex Scene:
“I just really dislike how often students are so often a scapegoat for everything wrong in the city as far as the people and some local politicians are concerned…
I have heard of many people during my time at university who have had to drop out as a result of monetary issues. This to me is completely unacceptable in a society that claims to be fair. It is an idea motivated by the irrational hatred many in this city have for students”
Southampton Test MP Alan Whitehead, who represents many Southampton students has not responded to a request for a comment on the issue.
You can read the entire response on the Daily Echo website.