HC Deb 23 February 1993 vol 219 cc551-2W
Mrs. Ewing

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many of the claims made by solicitors for payment by the legal aid fund in 1991–92 were settled within one month.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

The numbers of accounts submitted under each category of legal aid in 1991–92, and the percentage paid within one month, are as follows:

Number Per cent. paid within one month
Civil legal aid 21,015 35.4
Criminal legal aid 61,777 61.0
Advice and assistance 209,043 47.4
TOTAL 291,835 49.5

Mr. Dewar

To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland how many persons received help under the legal aid advice and assistance scheme with a nil contribution in the latest year for which figures are available; what percentage this was of the total number receiving advice under the scheme; and what he estimates that percentage would have been if the changes in eligibility for civil legal aid had been in effect in that year.

Lord James Douglas-Hamilton

[holding answer 8 February 1993]: In 1991–92, 271,759 grants were made under the advice and assistance scheme. Of these, approximately 980 per cent. (244,000) had no contribution to pay.

Since there would have been no contributory band, the number of grants would have been smaller had the proposed changes in legal aid eligibility announced on 16 November been in force in 1991–92. All of those who qualified for assistance would have received it free of contributions.

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