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Legal Aid

Volume 493: debated on Wednesday 3 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice what assessment he has made of the effect on levels of local government expenditure of his decision to reduce the budget for family legal aid. (274732)

I refer the hon. Gentleman to the answer I gave him on 20 May 2009, Official Report, columns 1445-1446W. We have not reduced the family legal aid budget. The consultation document, ‘Family Legal Aid Funding from 2010’, published by my Department and the Legal Services Commission, set out proposals aimed at maintaining legal aid expenditure at 2007-08 levels. The LSC and MOJ have discussed these proposals with a wide range of stakeholders, including the Local Government Association. The LSC has also received responses from a number of councils, which are being considered along with all the other responses received. We do not believe that these proposals would have a material impact on local government expenditure, and a full impact assessment will be published alongside the final proposals.