The Ministry of Justice has committed to reducing its annual expenditure from £9B to £7B. It won't escape the attention of most readers that the difference is identical to the amount of the annual Legal Aid budget.
It seems that the prison service which costs £2.4B to run each year is viewed as off limits. Although with Sir Ian Gilmore's calls for a review of misuse of drug legislation likely to appeal to the Liberal Democrats there may be significant savings around the corner if drug abusers are offered therapeutic input rather than a spell in prison.
Instead of imaginative solutions to cut expenditure the beady eye of the axe wielders has been trained on the relatively easy target of the Civil Legal Aid and Court Service budgets.
I have written previously about the impact of the planned closure of 30% of our Magistrates and County Courts currently under review. Recent changes...
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