– A Ministry of Justice spokeswoman
We need to make sure taxpayers' money is not spent resolving too many disputes in court, when there are quicker, cheaper and less stressful options available.
At £2 billion a year we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world, and it's now costing taxpayers too much at time when resources are not limitless. We had to make some difficult decisions, and it was not a process we embarked on lightly, but we have safeguarded legal aid to ensure lawyers are there for those who really need them.
Solicitors have warned people could start "taking the law into their own hands" as changes to legal aid come into force. Some law firms estimate the number of people who will qualify for legal aid following the changes will reduce by 75%.