Legal aid cuts are causing taxpayers to have to spend more money. The reason legal aid cuts are costing people more money is because cases are taking a longer time to resolve. If people get legal advice early, then the case is often able to be resolved earlier. In many cases, problems can be resolved without even going to court.
State legal funding is designed to help people who are unable to afford an attorney. However, the legal aid cuts have taken away almost all of the assistance for civil and family cases. Lawyers and campaigners are calling for the government to increase legal funding for people who cannot afford it.
Studies have shown that 25 percent of people who get early legal advice are able to resolve their case within three or four months. Twenty-five percent of people who do not receive early legal advice spend over nine months trying to resolve their case. However, 20 percent of people who do not get early legal help are unable to resolve their problem at all.
Richard Miller is the head of justice at the Law Society. He stated that problems can often be nipped in the bud with early legal advice. Problems need to be solved before they become worse. A small problem can quickly become a big one and take over one’s life.
The government has admitted that cutting legal funding has had the opposite effect. For example, they believed that cutting funding would encourage divorcing couples to work out their problems out of the court. However, fewer people are getting mediation, which is why cases are taking longer to resolve.
Richard Burgon is the shadow justice secretary. He stated that when people do not get the early legal advice that they need, they end up with more serious problems. This costs the taxpayers more money.