Supplementary Legal Aid scheme -Government announces welcome policy reversal

Well that didn’t take long, did it? Those of you who read my blog entry back on 23 entitled “ Supplementary Legal Aid Scheme – is it fair?” and who shared my views, will be relieved to know that the government has today announced a U-turn. Very simply, in a statement today, the Ministry of Justice announced that they would no longer be going ahead with the so-called Supplementary Legal Aid scheme – under which, with effect from April next year, children suffering brain injuries from medical negligence were to have 25% of their damages deducted as a form of swingeing legal aid “tax”.

However prior to confirming the decision not to implement the scheme next year, the MoJ had sent out a letter out early this month indicating that it doesn’t rule out a similar scheme as an option in the future. The headache that the MoJ will now face is to find another way of financing the rump of legal aid cases, following government cutbacks.

On a more general point, whilst it is good news to hear that any government actually listens to criticism of their policies, and is willing to reverse such unpopular proposals, the very number of U-turns recently made by the government is surely a cause some concern. Let’s hope they stop rushing through so many half baked ideas – which are likely to end up in either more rapid U-turns or bad legislation.