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Legal aid cuts may cost more than they save

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Legal aid cuts may cost more than they save

Recent article on BBC News about Legal Aid cuts.

The government's plans to cut legal aid in England and Wales return to Parliament later, amid opposition from lawyers and campaigners.

The Ministry of Justice aims to cut £300m from the £2.1bn legal aid bill.

Under the plans, people will not be eligible for legal aid in a far broader range of civil cases than at present.

The Law Society said the bill would hit the "weak and vulnerable", but Justice Secretary Ken Clarke said legal aid funded some unnecessary litigation.

Under the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill,ministers say they want to end legal aid for:

  • Private family law cases, such as divorce and custody battles
  • Clinical negligence claims
  • Employment and education law
  • Immigration, other than where someone is detained
  • Some debt, housing and benefit issues.

The government says that domestic violence cases will still receive legal aid and it intends to expand the definition to include mental and sexual abuse.

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