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Legal Aid Scheme

Volume 485: debated on Tuesday 16 December 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice how much funding has been provided for legal aid in each of the last five years; and how many individuals received legal aid in each such year. (242416)

The information requested for each of the last five years is set out in the following table, taken from the Legal Services Commission’s annual reports. The figures exclude release of provision on dormant cases and charges for bad debt. The LSC’s management information system records acts of assistance rather than the number of individuals assisted. Some individuals may have received more than one act of assistance during the year and some acts of assistance may help more than one person.

Resource expenditure (£ million)

Acts of assistance (Thousand)

2003-04

1,914

2,633

2004-05

1,769

2,435

2005-06

2,000

2,607

2006-07

1,983

2,659

2007-08

1,945

2,503

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what the average cost of providing legal aid was in relation to a (a) civil and (b) housing repossession case in the latest period for which figures are available. (242417)

The average cost of civil representation cases before income1 was £5,520 in 2007-08. The average cost of Legal Help by solicitors in 2007-08 was £265.The figures relate to cases that were closed in the year and include VAT.

The average cost of civil representation housing possession cases before income1 was £2,200 in 2007-08. This excludes cases that have been settled.

The average cost of Legal Help in housing possession cases was £200 in 2007-08. The figures relate to cases that were closed in the year and include VAT.

1 The figure shows the total amount that the LSC has paid for the case. The figure does not cover any of the money that the LSC will receive back as income, for example from costs and contributions.