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Thursday, 18 November 2010

Legal Aid to British People Cut, Asylum Seekers” Continue with Subsidies

Legal Aid Cuts: “Asylum Seekers” Continue with Subsidies as Aid to British People Cut

“Asylum seekers” in Britain will continue to have all their endless legal appeals financed by the taxpayer while legal aid to impoverished British people will be cut by more than £350 million, according to the ConDem regime’s new plans.
According to Tory “justice” secretary Ken Clarke, the taxpayer-funded legal aid bill will be cut by £350 million as part of “cost-saving” measures.
This means that all legal aid normally given to impoverished British citizens to aid them in civil cases such as divorce, medical negligence, private family cases, education, employment, welfare benefits and school admissions will end. Legal aid for criminal cases will not be affected.
The justification for the cuts — that the taxpayer is footing the bill for unnecessary court cases that could probably be settled out of court if the parties themselves were paying — is almost certainly valid. The publicly-funded legal bill in England alone was almost £2 billion last year, which is one of the highest in Europe.
At present, anyone with assets worth less than £8,000 qualifies for legal aid, with those worth £3,000 or less paying nothing and others expected to contribute.
Under the new proposals, all those with assets of £1,000 or more will have to pay a minimum of £100 towards their legal costs should their cases be successful.
This sounds all good and well — until the fine print of the new deal is read. It turns out that “asylum seekers” are one of the handful of groups (along with mental health, debt and housing matters) to be specifically excluded from the cuts.
Legal aid for asylum seekers cost taxpayers more than £90 million in 2009, according to figures released by the Ministry of Justice.
The bill, more than £550,000 a week, paid for "initial advice" in 46,000 cases. Each case costs the taxpayer an average of £610. Cases that go on to a full tribunal cost an average of £1,670, while those that go to judicial review cost £2,500 each.
The decision to exclude “asylum seekers” from the cuts goes directly against Mr Clarke’s own promises on the subject which he made as recently as August this year.
At the time, Mr Clarke said he would “target payments made to lawyers who make repeated challenges to decisions to turn down claims for asylum” and would “crack down on payouts to solicitors who make last-minute objections to deportation orders.”
While there is obviously a need for a crackdown on the exploitation of the legal system which results from free legal aid, the first point of savings should have been the utterly bogus asylum racket.
There are, in fact, no legal “asylum seekers” in Britain at all. All such persons have crossed dozens of safe countries to reach Britain, and are as such illegal immigrants, not genuine asylum seekers who only have right of refuge in the first safe country bordering the one they fled.
However, just like its Labour Party predecessor, the current government is always happy to put the interests of British people last.
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