The ONS today announced its decision on how it will treat student tuition fee and maintenance loans in the government’s accounts. We have published a blog explaining our role and why we have taken this decision. David Bailey explains in his blog.

In addition, we have published a technical note, giving further information about how we came to our decision.

Commenting on today’s announcement, ONS Deputy National Statistician for Economic Statistics Jonathan Athow said:

“We produce national accounts, ensuring that government receipts and spending are properly recorded.

“To ensure our treatment of student loans better reflects the way the system works in practice we will split the government’s student loan payments into a portion that will be repaid and is therefore genuine government lending and a portion that is not expected to be repaid, which will be treated as government spending.

“When coming to this decision we consulted widely with many other countries and international bodies to ensure that our figures remain internationally comparable.”