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Poor counting the cost of cuts to legal aid

Published 30/10/2015

In the Big Interview (DebateNI, October 26) Adrian Rutherford talked to Arleen Elliott, president of the Law Society of NI. The issues of legal aid and justice for all were examined closely.

The main focus was on the effects of the legal aid budget reductions from when justice powers were devolved in 2010 with a budget of £85m, to successive reductions to £75m and then £65m, but noting this year's anticipated £101m expenditure.

Arleen referred to the effect on those "who were economically deprived" and again on those who were "financially deprived". Let's call a spade a spade. It's the poor who suffer. The rich don't need legal aid.

Government austerity measures primarily affect the poor. We are in this mess largely because, in the recent universal monetary crisis, the Government bailed out so many banks and financial institutions. The public is now paying for the losses.

NEIL C OLIVER LLB

By email

Belfast Telegraph

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