The governments proposed cutting in legal aid from various cases related to immigration, medical negligence, family breakdowns and welfare benefits, to the tune of a massive 350 million pounds, is going to see a cascading effect on 200000 children and young people of UK. A research conducted by campaign group Sound Off for Justice suggests 6000 children less than 18 years and 69000 young people between 18 to 24 years age are going to lose Legal Aid under the proposed reforms.
A further 140,000 children from the lower income families would be affected by the withdrawal of Legal Aid from the parents, of which 68000 young people belong in family breakdown cases.
Children and Young people constitute a major section of the population who are homeless and unemployed are going to face undue hardship for want of free legal aid. The campaigners say that reforms in legal aid will create lots of problems to the government as it’s found that in the long run 8 pounds or taxpayer’s money is saved on every pound spent on legal aid.
Sue Berelowitz, the Deputy Children’s Commissioner, also felt that such move would affect the underprivileged section of the society mainly teenagers and young adults. She also said the Ministry of Justice has been warned of the danger involved in reforms in legal aid as those affected includes children and young people who are injured or who are in need of educational support, will be left fending for themselves in absence of free legal aid services through professionals.
The proposed reforms could face a stiff resistance in the Lords.
Duncan Lewis are the largest legal aid civil practitioners in the country, who also offer a very high-quality and cost-effective service to privately-paying clients.