Cuts Watch #312: Legal Aid
This week the Ministry of Justice is due to announce a major reform of Legal Aid, designed to save £350 million of the £2.1 bn current bill. Some areas of litigation are likely to be taken out of the scheme, such as divorce, immigration, employment and some personal injury cases. The reforms will also subject Legal Aid to a much more stringent means-test, excluding anyone with more than £1,000 and requiring those who are successful to pay 20 to 30 per cent of their weekly income towards their costs. The Ministry of Justice has to cut 23 per cent from its budget, one of the toughest settlements imposed on any Department.