– Ministry of Justice spokesperson
At around £2billion a year we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world, and it would remain very generous even after reform.
We entirely agree lawyers should be paid fairly for their work, and believe our proposals do just that. We also agree legal aid is a vital part of our justice system - that's why we have to find efficiencies to ensure it remains sustainable and available to those most in need of a lawyer.
Barristers across England and Wales walked out of work today to protest against government cuts to legal aid. The chair of the Criminal Bar Association predicted the move would render courts 'effectively inoperable'.