HC Deb 09 February 2001 vol 362 c773W
Mr. Singh

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Lord Chancellor's Department if he will make a statement on the effectiveness of incentives to encourage firms to provide legal services to dispersed asylum seekers. [149294]

Mr. Lock

Following the introduction of incentives to encourage solicitors firms to provide legal services to asylum seekers, the number of firms with contracts to undertake immigration and asylum work has risen substantially from 400 in July 2000 to 479 in January 2001.

The Lord Chancellor has recently announced a further 10 per cent. increase in the advice rates for immigration work. The expansion packages for dispersal areas have also been received very positively. The increase in the supply of good-quality legal services is therefore expected to continue.