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Volume 76: debated on Wednesday 3 April 1985

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asked the Chancellor of the Exchequer whether he will list in the Official Report (a) the cost of administering covenants to students and their parents, (b) the average repayment from his Department under the covenant system and (c) the annual amount paid out in total, and the number of payments, in each case for each of the last three years.

Estimates are available only for 1983–84. The administrative cost of making income tax repayments in respect of covenants to students is estimated to have been about £3 million. The average repayment was about £280 per student. About 375,000 individual repayments were made, including interim payments, to a total of about 196,000 students. In all, about £55 million was repaid.