I’VE been concerned to read the letters calling for students to pay Council Tax over the last few days. 

As a student, I can tell you that we do not have much money lying around and certainly are not sitting pretty. 

Student accommodation, both in halls and student houses, is incredibly expensive. The only reason many students can remain at university is because of large interest-free overdrafts that let us survive until student loans come in. 

By introducing Council Tax for students, all that would be achieved is forcing low income students to leave university – these are exactly the people we want to be studying, those who have succeeded despite their background. 

Alternatively, the government would have to increase student maintenance loans, meaning that overall it will be the average Southampton citizen who is paying more tax. 

Additionally, as much as the council can be blamed for many things, this is not one of them. Students do not pay council tax anywhere in the country and so to blame council finances on students is wrong. 

Students are studying full time and do not have fixed incomes, and yes, we go out to clubs and restaurants – contributing to Southampton’s economy and local businesses.

We cannot spend our whole lives sitting inside counting our few remaining pennies and trying to scrape together enough money to buy cheap mince for yet another pasta Bolognese. 

University is a period where young people are learning to live independently of their parents and are learning to become the tax payers of the future – the last thing we want to do as a society is price low income talented people out of going to university.

Thomas Gravatt