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Save Legal Aid from the Treasurer’s Knife

March 2011

The new Coalition Government seems set on making indiscriminate cuts to all areas of public service. Legal Aid, unfortunately, is no exception to the Treasury knife.

In 1947 when the welfare state was created by a Labour Government, three pillars were created – Health, Education, and Justice. Sadly, over the years, and against a background of the government making “Fat Cat Lawyers” easy targets for public disdain, justice has withered on the vine to become a very poor relation of the other two.

  • Before the election, both parties announced cuts in Legal Aid. ACAL wrote to both parties, and got no reply.- see this article in the Law Society’s Gazette.
  • After the election, the new legal aid minister “refused to rule out more legal aid cuts – see Law Society’s Gazette
  • The Justice Secretary, Ken Clarke has announced a review of Legal Aid, and “significant cuts in legal aid spending are a very real possibility” according to the Guardian

We need to fight for the ring fencing of legal aid abuse work and damage to vulnerable adults.

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Articles of interest

Legal Aid cuts will happen “under any government”, parties warn. (Law Society Gazette – 9th April 2010)
Fresh Legal Aid cuts not rules out by MOJ (Law Society Gazette – 17th June 2010)
Kenneth announces review of legal aid (The Guardian 24th June 2010)