The consultation on the future of Legal Aid provoked a record number of responses (over 2,300). For the outcome to be no more than a tinkering with the timetable is bitterly disappointing.
Greg Powell, President of the London Criminal Courts Solicitors' Association, commented: -
"The LSC say they have listened and adjusted the timing of Legal Aid reform. It's like driving a car towards a cliff edge and on being told that disaster is imminent, deciding to change gear and then accelerate (towards price competitive tendering). They do not appreciate the risk to which they are putting the whole Legal Aid system.The idea that the LSC/DCA will improve "efficiency" in the whole Criminal Justice System, is laughable. They simply do not have the micro control of Court List Officers, police officers or CPS charging lawyers who will go on as slowly and ineptly as now.The LSC claim they pay different amounts for the same work to different suppliers. There is no research to prove this claim .Paying the same amount for different work (fixed prices) is hardly fairer to the tax payer or supplier".