HC Deb 23 June 1986 vol 100 c15
36. Mr. Maclennan

asked the Attorney-General when he now expects to publish the results of the review of legal aid funding.

The Solicitor-General

As soon as possible, but, it is hoped, about or soon after the end of this month.

Mr. Maclennan

Does the Solicitor-General accept that if arrangements are not made to introduce an independent element into the review of legal aid fees; there will be the gravest disquiet in the legal profession, which considers itself to be grossly under-remunerated, and—worse than that—in consequence the criminal justice system will be severely impaired?

The Solicitor-General

Tempting though it is to enter the area opened by the hon. Gentleman, his question does not really arise from the review of legal aid funding being carried out by the efficiency unit, so I think that we had better wait until a suitable occasion arises.

Mr. Aitken

Will my right hon. and learned Friend confirm that the total cost in dispute, if the whole demand of the legal profession is granted, is about £8 million or £9 million? May I urge him not to be too cheese paring about this issue, on the ground that we need and deserve a first-class prosecution and defence service in this country?

The Solicitor-General

I never believe in paring cheese, but the point does not arise out of this question. I am grateful for my hon. Friend's concern about the issue that he raises, but I had better wait for a more appropriate occasion to deal with it more fully.

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