Young Legal Aid Lawyers welcomes the publication of ‘Tackling the Advice Deficit’, a report produced by the Low Commission, which is calling for urgent reforms to ensure ordinary people can get the help they need to deal with employment, debt, housing and other social welfare law problems. The report, which was brought about in response to widespread concern about the impact caused by the cuts to legal aid, looks at the effect of cuts in funding for social welfare law advice. It was produced through consultation and evidence-gathering from a wide spectrum of organisations and individuals, including Young Legal Aid Lawyers, and it can be accessed here.
The Report makes 100 recommendations aimed at developing a national strategy for advice and legal support, and includes a call for a £100m implementation fund, funded partly by central government, and partly by other sources, including a levy on payday loan companies. It also calls for the Government to review the impact of the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act 2012 with a view to restoring legal aid in some areas of law.
We hope that the current and future Governments are receptive to the report.