The founder of Money Saving Expert has been vocal on the issue of student finance and university. In a documentary by the website titled ‘How to be successful’, Mr Lewis spoke about the issue. He told young people in the show not to let the cost of university stop them from going, as student debt acts as more of a “tax” than a debt. Mr Lewis also hit out at how politicians have spoken about the issue.
He said there are politicians who “use this hideous language and demonisation to score cheap political points”.
On BBC Question Time in 2018, Mr Lewis lashed out at Labour MP Chi Onwurah, who was arguing that tuition fees were stopping people from working class backgrounds from going to university.
Mr Lewis then interrupted saying: “No, no don’t tell them.
“Look politicians do this all the time and you’re making your political points and you’re doing it and you put off young people from underprivileged backgrounds going to university with a fear of debt by framing it a debt when you know it doesn’t work like that.”
Mr Lewis then attacked the “political football” being played by politicians of all parties and blamed her for being part of a movement that has “miseducated a generation”.
He went on: “Politicians need to take responsibility, your political football that the way you and all the parties have used student finance has misled a generation about how student finance works and it is an abomination – you should all hang your heads in shame.
“There are people from poor backgrounds on television, I saw a programme two weeks ago saying ‘I can’t afford to go to university’.
“Well you know what it is expensive, it’s an increased form of taxation when you leave but it is not framed as a debt, it should not be called a debt.
“It’s a graduate contribution system so don’t even go there, don’t even go there.”
“It was the cleverest thing I did, but I didn’t know it was clever. My friend said it wouldn’t work, he said I needed to have adverts on the website and that ‘no one puts a face on a financial website’.
“I set it up because I thought the information should be out there, not to make money. It was only when the server costs became too expensive that I thought I should look at that.
“In the end, it’s turned £80 into more than nine figures, after tax. You also have to factor in the 90-hour weeks and the huge amounts of stress.
“Now people make the mistake of saying ‘you’re rich now that you’ve sold the website’. But they don’t realise I was lucky, I’d already made a lot before that.”