12 March 2015
Justice committee finds that legal aid cuts are all round disaster.
According to the committee, the government has achieved its aim of savagely cutting the legal aid budget, but has failed to discourage unnecessary litigation. Instead it has simply made legal aid unavailable to those who need it most.
The committee says that the cuts have not delivered better value for money to the taxpayer.
The scathing report can be read here.
Committee Chair, Rt Hon Sir Alan Beith MP, said:
“[The cuts have] limited access to justice for some of those who need legal aid the most and in some instances has failed to prevent cases becoming more serious and creating further claims on the legal aid budget.
Many of the problems which we have identified could have been avoided with better research, a better evidence base to work from, and better public information about the reforms. It is vitally important that the MoJ work to remedy this from now on, so that a review of the policy can be undertaken.”
Sadiq Khan, the shadow Justice Secretary, said: “This damning report reveals that the damage is far worse than anyone imagined.”