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Legal Aid Reform 'hit London's Needy'

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http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-london-13457231

The House of Lords has discussed legal aid reforms that critics say would disproportionately affect London's most vulnerable people. Government proposals mean anyone who owns a house worth more than £200,000 would not be eligible for legal aid.

The Ministry of Justice said reforms were needed to cut £350m from the £2bn annual cost. But the Law Society said it was concerned most home owners in London would not be eligible for legal aid.

"Those who own a home worth over £200,000 will be ineligible for legal aid, even if they have no other disposable capital," said the Law Society, which represents solicitors in England and Wales, in a statement.

"With house prices going through the roof in London, this will mean that a huge proportion will be unable to access free legal representation."

'Most vulnerable'

The Law Society, which has started the Sound Off For Justice campaign opposing the plans, said the government should reconsider its proposals in order to protect the "most vulnerable and needy in our society".

It said the "most vulnerable" include: women who are trying to escape abusive marriages, fathers who want access to their children and people unlawfully fired from their jobs.

A Ministry of Justice spokesman said: "At more than £2bn a year, we pay far more per head than most other countries for legal aid.

"The current system encourages lengthy, acrimonious and sometimes unnecessary court proceedings at tax payers' expense.

"We need to make clear choices to ensure that legal aid will continue to be available in those cases that really require it."

Justice Secretary Kenneth Clarke's plans have faced criticism since he said last year that £350m a year needed to be cut from legal aid costs.

Labour MP for Hammersmith and shadow justice minister Andy Slaughter said the government should tender contracts to make prices more competitive.

"It is the most vulnerable people who are the most in need who are being targeted," he said.

"These are lazy and very stupid cuts."

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Hmmm.

'Owning' the home is the operative word, and could see this reform fail, especially with all the people on 80% and up mortgages.

You only 'own' the house once the debt has been repaid (yes Injin...) and one never own's the land.

I know quite a few home 'owners' who haven't two penny's to rub together and are essentially house poor, debt rich?

Whatever.

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Legal aid is the same story as housing benefit: a way to channel public money to a parasitic class in the name of 'the poor'. If the government can face down the lawyers then good on them!

Shame housing has to be dragged in to that story, though.

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Legal aid is the same story as housing benefit: a way to channel public money to a parasitic class in the name of 'the poor'. If the government can face down the lawyers then good on them!

Shame housing has to be dragged in to that story, though.

Legal aid is mainly for lawyers.

Seriously.

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Hmmm.

'Owning' the home is the operative word, and could see this reform fail, especially with all the people on 80% and up mortgages.

You only 'own' the house once the debt has been repaid (yes Injin...) and one never own's the land.

I know quite a few home 'owners' who haven't two penny's to rub together and are essentially house poor, debt rich?

Whatever.

Yes this could be a problem, you don't own the house until the loan has been repaid and I bet most people paying off a mortgage couldn't then find the money to pay a lawyer if they needed one.

Would the cost of lawyers fall if legal aid didn't exist?

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The courts are retrenching into playgrounds for the rich only. We're going back to Victorian times. At the moment if you're tried for a serious crime in the Crown Court you'll get legal aid, but in the magistrates you'll be on your own. Unrepresented defendants are lambs to the slaughter.

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Yes this could be a problem, you don't own the house until the loan has been repaid and I bet most people paying off a mortgage couldn't then find the money to pay a lawyer if they needed one.

Would the cost of lawyers fall if legal aid didn't exist?

Not the way they worded it on the news last night. The reporter was walking down a London street, recanting woe is me tales of non-working 500k house owning people (a thinly veiled HPI is good undertone of course) people not being able to access legal aid.

She went on to say even 1 bed flats are "worth" more than 200k in this street, so no one would have access. There was also mention of £3k equity being a cut off, if I remember correctly.

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The courts are retrenching into playgrounds for the rich only. We're going back to Victorian times. At the moment if you're tried for a serious crime in the Crown Court you'll get legal aid, but in the magistrates you'll be on your own. Unrepresented defendants are lambs to the slaughter.

Yes in many ways we are reverting back to the historic norm of the Victorian times. Like home ownership I think will gradually decline throughout this century.

For serious crimes I think there should be legal aid.. but generally speaking I think access to the courts for the lower classes has not helped them or society. Its helped make a whole ton of insurance costs and nanny statist rules. I can hold out hope our laws return to more Victorian where the state doesn't have the money or desire to get involved in personal issues for people like what drugs they decide to take.

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  • 312 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

    1. 1. Including the effects Brexit, where do you think average UK house prices will be relative to now in June 2020?


      • down 5% +
      • down 2.5%
      • Even
      • up 2.5%
      • up 5%



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