Briefing: Legal Aid Bill amendments
By: Published: February 2012
The Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill will impose devastating cuts on legal aid funding for specialist advice that helps people to solve their housing problems. Cuts to legal aid for housing issues will take 52,000 cases per year – about 40% of all housing work - out of scope, making an annual saving of £10m in the short term but increasing costs to the taxpayer down the line and denying access to justice for the most vulnerable in our society.
These amendments would:
- enable people to obtain advice where their right to occupy their home has been terminated for reasons entirely beyond their control and for which they bear no responsibility.
ensure that, where the loss of the home is threatened due to non-payment of the rent or mortgage, advice and casework can be provided to address an underlying benefits problem causing or contributing to the arrears.
ensure that legal aid continues to be available for people needing to pursue a damages claim in cases of harassment.