‘Safety net’ set up after Tory legal aid cuts has helped just EIGHT children
The exceptional case funding scheme has already been branded “unlawful” by the High Court
A scheme set up to give vulnerable people access to justice following Tory legal aid cuts has helped just eight children, it was revealed today.
The Ministry of Justice (MoJ) was forced reveal just a handful of under 18s have been given support under their exceptional case funding scheme.
The fund was introduced to soften the impact of huge cuts to legal aid introduced by Tory Justice Secretary Chris Grayling .
But new official figures show just how much the scheme is failing.
It comes after the High court ruled the scheme was ‘unlawful’.
Mr Justice Collins said the application procedure was “far too complex” and the rigid merits test was “wholly unsatisfactory.”
The MoJ revealed that of the 89 applications for help under the scheme from under 18s, just eight had been granted.
Lord Bach, Labour’s Shadow Minister for Legal Aid said: “These figures make clear the impact that the Government’s cuts to legal aid have had on some of the most vulnerable children in our society.
“It is shocking that we should leave thousands of children to fend for themselves over an issue as important as whether or not they are allowed to remain in the country.
“This shows yet again the gulf between the Government’s empty rhetoric and the reality of its policies. Ministers now need to get a grip, starting with an immediate review of their legal aid reforms.”