Cambridge city council have caved in to calls to abolish council tax for grads.
The Cambridge City Council has caved after demanding over £900 in council tax from fourth year PhD students.
Even though 90 per cent of PhD students go on to do a fourth year the council claimed that this ‘write-up’ stage of a doctorate didn’t count as full-time education.
This decision sparked major outrage among the graduate community.
Eleanor Green of the Faculty of Earth Studies commented “it seems grossly unfair if writing up doesn’t count as part of the PhD, given that one can’t get a degree without doing it.”
A force of students attended a 22nd of October council meeting to register their disgust at the council’s actions.
The move to tax the students has been met with fury not only because it seems unfair but also because there are serious doubts whether university lodgings are even applicable for taxation.
Despite the fact that the cancellation of the demands is a victory for University officials, members of the Grad Union and members of CUSU following their high profile negotiations with the Council these organisations have also come under fire.
Former CUSU welfare officer Andrea Walko claimed that a lack of clear communication with the graduate students led to confusion about whether or not they should pay.
In fact this whole affair is tainted with inconsistency, inaccuracy and inactivity.
King’s College students were told to pay the bill while some other students were urged to apply for benefits in order to ensure exemption.
The Graduate Union’s official advice was to present a certificate from the University to the Council proving their student status.
However it is understood that up until recently the Council rejected these as proof and refused to cancel the bills.
Despite this dud advice the Grad Union did not update there website on the matter for two weeks, leaving students in the dark.
Students have now been told to ring the Council if they receive any more bills and seek a refund if they have already coughed up.