All party concern about Government’s cuts to Legal Aid

Joanna Lumley re-entered the political fray today when she unveiled a campaign calling for government to rethink their proposed cuts to legal aid, to coincide with the closing date for submissions to the Ministry of Justice consultation. The campaign, launched by the Law Society, is called Sound Off For Justice soundoffforjustice.org.

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The proposals which Citizens Advice claim will leave half a million vulnerable people with complex debt, housing, or benefits issues ineligible for legal aid have come in for increasing criticism, including today from Kids Companys Camila Batmanghelidjh, from Labours shadow Justice team, and from Conservative MPs concerned about cuts in their own constituencies.

Helen Grant, Conservative MP for Maidstone, eloquently defended legal aid a couple of weeks ago:

Since its introduction in 1949, legal aid has sought to provide access to justice for those of limited means and has remained a defining and essential feature of our democracy

For some of our most vulnerable people, it is the only sword and shield in their armoury These proposals could be the straw that breaks the camels back.

The government hopes to save £350m from the legal aid budget, and has concentrated almost all the savings on funding for civil legal aid. Of particular concern to campaigners and local charities is the wholesale removal from scope of many aspects of social welfare advice, including issues with welfare benefits, debt, and employment which affect some of the poorest people in the UK.

Support this campaign: http://soundoffforjustice.org/ before it is too late.

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