Britain has "one of the most expensive legal aid systems" in the world and the Government has "no choice" but to make cuts if it is to deal with deficit left by the 2008 crash, a Ministry of Justice spokeswoman said.
Speaking ahead of a series of walk outs by barristers over cuts, the spokeswoman said:
At around £2 billion a year, we have one of the most expensive legal aid systems in the world.
As everybody knows, this Government is dealing with an unprecedented financial challenge and the MoJ has no choice but to significantly reduce the amount of money it spends every year.
We have spoken at length over the past year with solicitors and barristers about the reforms and our final plans reflect many of the changes they asked for.
It does mean fee reductions, but it also includes a series of measures to ease their effect on lawyers.
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