University of Loughborough and Law Society report: Priced out of Justice? Legal Aid Means Test

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‘The legal aid means test is preventing families in poverty from accessing justice’ says a March 2018 report (PDF) from the University of Loughborough and Law Society. 

This report considers whether people required by the civil legal aid system to contribute to legal costs, based on their income and assets, can always afford to do so.

The report finds:

At the maximum level of disposable income at which legal aid is allowed, households have too little income to reach a minimum standard of living even before footing any legal bills. Typically, they have disposable incomes 10% to 30% too low to afford a minimum budget
Individuals with gross income above the £2,657 a month limit could generally afford to contribute a substantial amount to legal costs. However, some people with this level of gross income who are supporting families have incomes below the minimum, mainly because gross income includes tax credits and benefits, which contribute to meeting the cost of additional family members
Those with above £316 a month in adjusted disposable income may receive legal aid but must contribute to their costs. This excludes almost all households where anyone works, and is roughly equivalent to the level of means-tested benefits, whose recipients receive full legal aid regardless of income.
Read the full report (PDF). 

Race on the Agenda resource: Employment and Anti-Discrimination Support Tool

ROTA

ROTA’s Equality Law Project aims to support frontline organisations to understand and use the Equality Act 2010.

The project has produced an online employment and anti-discrimination legal support tool to support VCS organisations and their service users identify appropriate legal advice, support and representation in their local area.

This free searchable database will not only help BAME and migrant organisations deal with casework, but will enable them to better support BAME and migrant workers.

Access the search tool.