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Slashing legal aid to hit poorest hard warns CAB

PLANS to slash legal aid will leave many of the borough’s poorest people with nowhere to turn, Chelmsley Wood Citizens Advice Bureau has warned.

PLANS to slash legal aid will leave many of the borough’s poorest people with nowhere to turn, Chelmsley Wood Citizens Advice Bureau has warned.

The Bosworth Drive-based centre claimed that the Government’s plans would hit people on low incomes.

In the most drastic change to legal aid in 60 years, people will no longer be entitled to free advice on issues such as debt and employment.

Chelmsley Wood CAB estimates that half a million people nationwide - and hundreds in north Solihull - would be affected.

Manager Kerry Turner said: “Every year Chelmsley Wood CAB helps hundreds of people at moments of real need, thanks to funding from civil legal aid.

“Withdrawing legal aid with no alternative on offer will deny access to justice to some of the most vulnerable people in our community.”

She also challenged claims that the £350m cuts would save money, saying that legal aid saved costs to other public services further down the line.

“The entire legal aid budget is equivalent to only two weeks’ worth of public funding to the NHS,” added Ms Turner.

Justice Minister, Jonathan Djanogly argued that, at the moment, too many personal problems were being paid for by the State.

Citizens Advice have joined with trade unions, charities and community cuts to oppose the radical changes.

 

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