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Legal aid system under review

In what many believe is a long-awaited review of the legal aid system, Kenneth Clarke has announced a review of the service with a potential 25% saving targeted for the short to medium term. This is a system which has attracted fury from the UK public and increased dramatically in size and cost over the last 20 years. The UK government has made clear, from day one, that no one department will be immune from budget cuts although there will obviously be a loose ring fence regarding health spending, police and education.

When you sit down and review the many different departments and the many different financial systems in the UK there is scope for significant savings across the board. The legal aid system was brought in to help those struggling to cover their own legal fees and in the view of many it has changed over the last few years. Indeed only a few weeks ago we saw MPs granted legal aid to defend themselves with regards to MPs expenses which were rejected by the Houses of Parliament.

It is believed that around £2.25 billion will need to be shaved off the legal aid annual budget possibly at a time when more people than ever before may be applying for the service.

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