Briefing: Legal Aid Bill Lords 2nd Reading

By:   Published: November 2011


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.

Summary

Far from encouraging early resolution of legal problems, these cuts will encourage unnecessary court proceedings as people are denied the legal advice that allows them to resolve problems outside of the courts. The Bill will reduce the opportunity for early intervention, which is often highly effective in resolving housing and other social welfare problems before they escalate to crisis point.

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