Post by Patrick Torsney on May 8, 2012 8:19:35 GMT
Legal aid contribution proposed (original article from the Press Association):
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill has revealed proposed changes to the legal aid system
"Financial contributions could be introduced for people who can "afford" to pay towards criminal legal aid.
The Scottish Government has published draft legislation with an aim to save £3.9 million from the legal aid budget.
Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said: "On legal aid, the Scottish Government believes that it is right and proper that those who can afford to pay towards the cost of their legal defence costs do so.
"We shouldn't have a system where those who can afford to contribute to the cost of their legal fees get taxpayers' cash at the expense of those who simply cannot afford to pay."
Anyone with disposable income under £68 a week will make no contribution, according to proposals in the Scottish Civil Justice and Criminal Legal Assistance Bill.
A contribution will be paid if disposable income is above £68 but less than £222 a week.
Above the upper limit, assistance will only be given if the board considers it would still cause "undue hardship" to pay."