Alex argues against Government Legal Aid Cuts for under 18s

Stockton North MP Alex Cunningham has today argued that cutting legal aid for under 18s will ultimately cost more money than it saves.

During a Committee session of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Bill, Alex argued against the Government’s plans to save £10 million by cutting legal aid for under 18s in most employment, education, debt, welfare and immigration cases.

He said:

“How children and young people are treated by the Justice system defines our view of them as citizens and will shape their own view of society.

“It is obvious to me that unresolved legal problems will have knock-on impacts and Government could make greater savings
by helping young people solve their problems earlier, rather than by cutting off access to help.

“In Stockton North I am very proud of the advice offered by the Cabin but I fear for the future of this and other similar services as the spending cuts bite deeper.”

Alex, a member of the Committee, was speaking in support of Labour’s amendment to protect legal aid for people under the age of 18. The amendment was defeated by 11 votes to 9 as two Liberal Democrat MPs joined the Conservatives.