HC Deb 07 September 2004 vol 424 c1052W
Mr. Grieve

To ask the Parliamentary Secretary, Department for Constitutional Affairs what assessment he has made of the impact of high property values in the South East on the eligibility of people of low income who are home owners for civil legal aid. [187010]

Mr. Leslie

The legal Service Commission is currently consulting on proposed changes to financial eligibility for civil legal aid, including replacing the current £100,000 equity disregard with exemptions targeted on those with the lowest incomes, particularly pensioners and the disabled. During the consultation period (which closes on 15 October 2004), the Commission's research centre is undertaking a means survey of legal aid applicants which will provide further data on housing equity. The results of this research and the wider public consultation will be analysed before we announce the way forward.