The Socialist

The Socialist 17 November 2010

Fight for your future!

The Socialist issue 647

Fight for your future!

Massive student demo shows anti-cuts anger

24 November - Strike against fees and cuts

Defend student protesters!

10 November demonstration: Students fighting back


Afghanistan: Withdraw the troops now!


Kirklees - fighting 400 million budget cut

Protests and meetings against the cuts

Victory in law centre battle

Jobs threat in Knowsley

Ballot cancelled in BA dispute

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

Workplace news in brief


Universal Credit - a thinly veiled attack on the sick and unemployed

Coalition turns back the clock on justice

Tories promote fast food nation

Fast news


The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launches its campaign for the 2011 local elections


Ireland: 'Not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster'

Ireland: United Left Alliance to challenge at next general election

Support the Laura Ashley strikers


Britain's trillion pound horror story

 
 

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Coalition turns back the clock on justice

THE COALITION government intends to virtually end legal aid in civil cases, with few exceptions. This devastating move will turn the clock back 60 years by denying justice to hundreds of thousands of people.

It means that many people will be unable to obtain legal advice over certain housing issues, family law, clinical negligence, education, employment, immigration, benefits, and debt. Individuals are expected to take out medical-style private insurance instead.

Some £350 million a year (15% of the budget) will be cut from state aid to individuals in plans announced by justice secretary Kenneth Clarke.

The government will also introduce a new financial qualifying threshold of £1,000 for legal aid.

Currently, anyone with assets worth less than £8,000 qualifies for civil legal aid. Those with savings up to £3,000 pay nothing and others are expected to make a contribution.

Under the new system, the limit would be a flat £1,000 of assets with property values included for the first time, effectively ruling out almost every homeowner.

The contribution expected from claimants would rise from 20% of weekly income to 30%.

Organisations such as the Citizens Advice Bureau are at risk of closing down because they face a cut in their legal aid funding.

Legal aid firms and local law centres providing equally valuable services are already under the financial hammer and are closing down. Six law centres closed in 2008 (including Leicester and Lewisham), and a further six became critical in 2009. There are now only four law centres in the North East, and only one in Liverpool.

Clearly, for the Tories and their Lib Dem chums, legal representation, first and foremost, should be a privilege for the rich.

Legal aid providers and clients must take the campaign to the trade union movement. The threat to the legal aid system is part of a general attack on services and the working class and poor. Defending it and all our services will take a mass movement of service users, trade unions and communities.

Law lecturer, Kent

In this issue


Socialist Party youth and students

Fight for your future!

Massive student demo shows anti-cuts anger

24 November - Strike against fees and cuts

Defend student protesters!

10 November demonstration: Students fighting back


War and occupation

Afghanistan: Withdraw the troops now!


Socialist Party workplace news

Kirklees - fighting 400 million budget cut

Protests and meetings against the cuts

Victory in law centre battle

Jobs threat in Knowsley

Ballot cancelled in BA dispute

National Shop Stewards Network: Anti-cuts conference

Workplace news in brief


Socialist Party news and analysis

Universal Credit - a thinly veiled attack on the sick and unemployed

Coalition turns back the clock on justice

Tories promote fast food nation

Fast news


Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition

The Trade Unionist and Socialist Coalition launches its campaign for the 2011 local elections


International socialist news and analysis

Ireland: 'Not simply a crisis but an absolute disaster'

Ireland: United Left Alliance to challenge at next general election

Support the Laura Ashley strikers


Socialist Party review

Britain's trillion pound horror story


 

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