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17/02/2013

Duration:
34 minutes
First broadcast:
Sunday 17 February 2013

The investigative current affairs series returns with a look at changes to Legal Aid.

  • Legal Aid

    In the first of a new series, Eye on Wales investigates the impact of imminent reforms to civil Legal Aid.

    Civil Legal Aid helps low-income clients access specialist help and representation from advice centres and solicitors on a wide range of issues.

    But from April the types and numbers of cases that qualify will be much reduced.

    The changes mean tens of thousands of people will no longer have access to free specialist advice on issues like benefits, family disputes and housing problems.

    Funding for at least 60 specialist advisors across Wales - mainly working on welfare and debt problems - will also disappear.

    And solicitors offering private family law could see their Legal Aid work drop by as much as 80 per cent.

    The UK Government says its reforms will save money while discouraging unnecessary litigation at the public's expense.

    But critics claim the changes will hit the most vulnerable hardest, at a time of massive change in the benefits system.

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