£220m is to be cut from the criminal legal aid budget, according to a consultation to be launched today. The proposals include plans to curbing prisoners’ right to legal aid as well as stopping defendants with a disposable income of more than £37,500 from automatically receiving legal aid. The consultation also relates to the roll out of price competition.
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‘With criminal legal aid costing tax-payers £1bn a year, the consultation will propose measures to ensure the best value for taxpayers’ hard-earned money and tackling instances where people have been taking the system – and those who pay for it – for a ride,’ a Ministry of Justice spokesman said.
‘Why should the law-abiding, hard-working majority pay for a court service for the minority who break the law? Those who live outside the law should pay the consequences both through being punished and bearing more of the costs they impose on society,’ justice secretary Chris Grayling is expected to say. Lawyers’ fees in the complex or VHCC (very high cost cases) would be cut.
The MoJ is reorted to be developing plans for criminals to be charged for the cost and running of the court process.
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