Online Legal Advice provider voices concern on access to affordable, accurate Legal Advice for the p

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Expert Answers the leading UK online legal advice website has voiced concern that large swathes of the UK public do not have access to affordable, accurate legal advice. Feedback from its website users shows considerable frustration by the lack of easy access to such advice.

“With Legal Aid coming under pressure and Citizens Advice Bureaus closing, it is becoming harder and harder for the public to get affordable legal advice. The Social impact of the Government cuts is significant. The groups of people typically being disadvantaged are ethnic monitories, females, disabled and low paid and typically,all people who tend to have complicated debt, housing and welfare issues”, says James Mather, Solicitor and co-founder of the company.

James also added, “The effects of the benefit cuts totalling £7billion announced in the Comprehensive Spending Review, on top of the £11billion cut already announced as part of the Emergency Budget in 2012, will be far reaching. Inevitable cuts to public services, along with the cuts in welfare and tax credits spending, will have an adverse impact on many benefit claimants. Those on the lowest incomes, single parents and families on lower incomes will be hardest hit by the combined effect of these changes”.

The Law Centres Federation has calculated that law centres will lose £5m or 55% of their Legal Aid funding under the government’s proposals. Some law centres are being forced to close. They are being hit by a 30% cut in local authority funding and a 50% per cent cut in central government grants. This is resulting in a reduction in the number of clients they can deal with from an already inadequate 120,000 down to only 50,000.

In 2011 CAB showed a 4% overall rise in enquiries with Housing enquiries showing a much greater increase of 14%.

“Whilst the lack of access to affordable legal advice has boosted the number of users to our website, it also means a significant number of people are having difficulty getting access to legal advice at even at the simplest level,” says Lloyd Barrett, Technical Services Director and co-founder.

The government is also proposing an overhaul of the way in which Legal Aid is funded. This will see Legal Aid cut for divorce cases, welfare benefits issues, school exclusion appeals, employment issues and clinical negligence compensation claims.

The Government is to cut the Legal Aid bill by £350million every year. Society’s most vulnerable people will be unfairly affected and thousands of people will be unable to pursue legitimate cases.

The eligibility rules for legal aid are set to change, which will negatively impact more than 1 in 10 Legal Aid clients. Under the new scheme, people will be expected to contribute 30% of their weekly income, up from 20%. This means that many people won’t be able to pursue their case through the courts. Thousands of people will no longer be eligible for legal advice public funding at all.

According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, these changes, "…would take whole areas of law ‘out of scope’ - including welfare benefits and employment. Advice on housing and debt would be restricted to cases with an ‘immediate risk’ of homelessness and help with many family law issues would only be available in cases of domestic violence”

The social, economic and political aspects of the provision of Legal Aid in the UK means that there is an ever increasing need for affordable, accessible advice., " Lloyd explained.

About Expert Answers:

Expert Answers provides answers to legal questions via a panel of registered solicitors, Lawyers, Barristers and Legal Experts, nationwide, via a web based interface. As well as providing access to qualified and verified legal experts, Expert Answers allows the user to decide how much they want to pay for an to their question.

Further Information

James and Lloyd can be contacted on info@expertanswers.co.uk or you can visit the website http://www.expertanswers.co.uk or telephone 07989 441 526.

5 February 2012

For immediate release.

Categories: Business. Legal

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Contact Info

Technical Services Director,expertanswers
Phone : 07989441526

Email : marketing@expertanswers.co.uk

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