New Poll Evidences Legal Aid Cuts Continue to be a Concern for the Public
With the upcoming elections just around the corner many of the issues being addressed echo previous election campaigns. Youth, housing and cuts to the NHS are major issues which nearly every major party has addressed or included within their manifesto. It could be argued that these issues will always be important and relevant due to their very nature, these issues are necessary for any democratic society to be successful. However what about the other issues? Is the British public only concerned with the above issues? A new poll has answered this question.
This new poll has identified that legal aid is still a prominent concern for the British public. The poll which was commissioned by the Criminal Law Solicitors Association (CLSA) and conducted by YouGov found that nine out of ten people found legal aid to be an important issue. The poll included 2,022 adults and was conducted 1-2 April.
Results from the poll found that 84% of people stated that they believe legal aid to be a fundamental right not a benefit. In comparison 82% of people who partook in the poll believed that free healthcare was a fundamental right. This comparison is only dealing with a 2% difference however it does represent the sense of concern over recent legal aid cuts and the promises being made in the political campaigns.
Robin Murray, Vice Chairman of the CLSA commented with the following
“These facts nail the lie that people do not care about legal aid as a political issue. It is an important and fundamental issue for politicians to note. Legal aid campaigners speak for the people. There must be proper funding for legal aid. It is a right not a benefit.
The problem is that the political class has not caught up with the growing public concern over attacks upon legal aid. They do not discuss it in the election so the media does not report it as an election issue. That is why we are holding a ‘vote for justice rally’. It is to show the media and the politicians that the attacks upon legal aid are an election issue that matters.”
The public priorities lie within making sure that certain systems are kept a right within British society. It is not always a case of cutting one to boost another but instead making every system fair and available to every individual despite their situation.
For more information and news relating to the cuts please visit the links below-
 “Legal aid is a right, not a benefit, says British public”, John van der Luit-Drummond, Solicitors Journal, http://www.solicitorsjournal.com/news/22439/legal-aid-right-not-benefit-says-british-public
 “Access to justice a greater concern than free healthcare – poll”, Owen Bowcott , The Guardian, http://www.theguardian.com/law/2015/apr/13/justice-concern-free-healthcare-yougov-poll-legal-aid-cuts