Fight to save legal aid

sp90464 Law Centre Legal Aid Campaign L-R, Mary Honeyben (Elliott Mather), Coun John Burrows, Coun Graham Baxter, MP Toby Perkins and Colin Hampton (unemployed Workers Centre).
sp90464 Law Centre Legal Aid Campaign L-R, Mary Honeyben (Elliott Mather), Coun John Burrows, Coun Graham Baxter, MP Toby Perkins and Colin Hampton (unemployed Workers Centre).

CHESTERFIELD Law Centre has joined a campaign to highlight reforms it is feared would leave thousands of struggling families worse off.

The Government’s Legal Aid Reform aims to cut £350m by 2015 through axing funding for most employment, welfare benefit, debt and housing matters. Proposed changes will restrict what advice legal aid funds, who can get aid by asking low income earners to pay more, and making it harder for advice agencies to make ends meet.

“This will have a severe impact on people on low incomes living in Derbyshire,” said Tony McIlveen, a centre senior solicitor.

“They would not be able to get free legal advice to enforce their rights in, for example, recovering wages owed to them, challenging decisions on benefits entitlement, managing multiple debts and getting repairs carried out in their rented homes.”

If changes go ahead they will be implemented from April 2013.

To join the Love Legal Aid campaign asking the Government to rethink its proposals visit www.justice-for-all.org.uk.

The law centre’s consultation response to the plans is also available on www.chesterfieldlawcentre.org.uk.