Legal Aid Scheme

Natascha Engel: To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what estimate he has made of the savings to accrue to his Department’s budget as a result of changes to eligibility for legal aid in 2013-14. [149645]

Jeremy Wright: At around £2 billion per year we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world. While it is absolutely right that legal aid is provided to those who most need it, going to court is not always the right answer. We estimate that the savings accrued from the reduction in scope of civil legal aid, as a result of implementation of the reforms in part 1 of Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012, will total £100 million in 2013-14. We will still be spending approx. £1.7 billion a year on legal aid after the savings from these reforms have reached a steady state.

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