Legal aid cuts


JustRights and Sound Off For Justice have published a joint report, Not Seen and Not Heard : how children and young people will lose out from cuts to civil legal aid. The report reveals official estimates that 6,000 children under the age of 18 and 69,000 vulnerable young adults aged 18 to 24 will lose access to legal aid in their own right as a result of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill and cuts to the legal aid budget of £350million. They will lose support for issues relating to employment, education, homelessness, welfare and debt. In addition, 140,000 of children will be affected when their parents lose access to legal aid.

It says that it “would cost just £10 million to protect legal aid for all children and £40 million to protect all young adults – figures dwarfed by the knock-on costs for government that will result from these cases being left unresolved.”  Research from the Citizens Advice Bureaux shows the benefit of dealing with issues such as employment and welfare benefits immediately, as every £1 spent on legal aid support saves the government £8 further down the line.

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