Bolton lawyers furious at legal aid cuts row told: 'Your strike will not make a difference'

The Bolton News: Justice secretary Chris Grayling Justice secretary Chris Grayling

JUSTICE secretary Chris Grayling has issued a stark reality check to barristers and solicitors preparing to strike tomorrow over legal aid cuts — “your action will not make a difference”.

The Conservative cabinet minister has been in Bolton tonight attending an event with local councillors and the party’s Bolton West candidate for the 2015 general election, Chris Green.

Courts in Bolton are set for disruption as solicitors and barristers walk out in protest at Mr Grayling’s attempts to make £220m of cuts from the legal aid budget by 2018-19.

The Criminal Bar Association (CBA) has organised the day of action and claims lawyers face cuts to fees of up to 30 per cent as a result of Mr Grayling’s plans.

Speaking exclusively to The Bolton News, Mr Grayling said: “I have not been surprised by the strength of feeling we have faced.

“But, strike action won’t change anything I’m afraid to say.

“It does not change the financial reality we face, that we must make difficult decisions across the board."

He also said he hoped members of the legal sector would be “realistic” about the changes we face.

“We are cutting legal aid because we have no choice, to balance our budget,” said Mr Grayling.

“Legal aid forms a substantial part of the department’s budget – it was inevitable it would be affected.

“Legal aid is not being singled out, many other sections of the department are being cut as well.

“So I’m afraid that we had to try to bring the costs down, but we have tried to do so in a way that will mitigate the impact caused.

“I make no attempt to pretend that there won’t be some differences as a result of the cuts.”

The CBA say plans to slash the number of criminal solicitor practises from 1,600 to 526 are being pushed ahead with.

This latest strike action had been threatened by the CBA if Mr Grayling failed to provide a “positive” response and willingness to engage with the profession.

Barristers walked out of court for half a day in January.

Comments (5)

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9:34pm Thu 6 Mar 14

BenjaminKnight says...

Grayling has been caught out over this. He had claimed this latest round of cuts to the CJS to be required by the Treasury. He was shown to have misled. He volunteered the cuts above and beyond what was sought.
These cuts are ideological, not economical. That is a fact.
He has been caught lying about barristers' earnings.
He has ignored the responses to all consultations on the cuts even though the number of responses was breathtaking.
His aspirations for the top job have been placed ahead of the welfare of a criminal justice system that has been around for 400 years. He has placed the interests of big corporations above the welfare of victims of crime.
His credibility is shot through and the strikes will make a difference, you arrogant wretch of a man.
Grayling has been caught out over this. He had claimed this latest round of cuts to the CJS to be required by the Treasury. He was shown to have misled. He volunteered the cuts above and beyond what was sought. These cuts are ideological, not economical. That is a fact. He has been caught lying about barristers' earnings. He has ignored the responses to all consultations on the cuts even though the number of responses was breathtaking. His aspirations for the top job have been placed ahead of the welfare of a criminal justice system that has been around for 400 years. He has placed the interests of big corporations above the welfare of victims of crime. His credibility is shot through and the strikes will make a difference, you arrogant wretch of a man. BenjaminKnight
  • Score: 14

10:27pm Thu 6 Mar 14

SleepingThunder says...

Is it not everybodys legal right to have legal representation.This is a social action not economical.But i have to chuckle that the the CBA have finally woke up to the fact that the goverment are acting on behalf of corporations not the electorate.
Is it not everybodys legal right to have legal representation.This is a social action not economical.But i have to chuckle that the the CBA have finally woke up to the fact that the goverment are acting on behalf of corporations not the electorate. SleepingThunder
  • Score: 8

1:01pm Fri 7 Mar 14

exboard says...

The puzzle to "normal" members of society is that apparently very wealthy members of society manage to obtain Legal Aid. Yet average people have to pay for their own defence.
The puzzle to "normal" members of society is that apparently very wealthy members of society manage to obtain Legal Aid. Yet average people have to pay for their own defence. exboard
  • Score: 6

8:34pm Fri 7 Mar 14

V Meldrew says...

These Lawyers/Solicitors or whatever they wish to be called have no leg to stand on, they are being paid for doing nothing, especially when they charge £50 for sending a letter, they are well overpaid, the people who require or are entitled to legal aid will still get it that is not the question, all that the change will do is cut the number of firms that can be on standby to represent the scroats who burgle or steal, the sooner the better that these leaches are sorted the better they drain the countries coffers and as I have already said above charge extortionate amounts for doing next to nothing, they are making money out of other peoples misery and don't care about the lives of common decent folk
These Lawyers/Solicitors or whatever they wish to be called have no leg to stand on, they are being paid for doing nothing, especially when they charge £50 for sending a letter, they are well overpaid, the people who require or are entitled to legal aid will still get it that is not the question, all that the change will do is cut the number of firms that can be on standby to represent the scroats who burgle or steal, the sooner the better that these leaches are sorted the better they drain the countries coffers and as I have already said above charge extortionate amounts for doing next to nothing, they are making money out of other peoples misery and don't care about the lives of common decent folk V Meldrew
  • Score: -2

8:45pm Fri 7 Mar 14

V Meldrew says...

Tuckers the law firm especially are kicking up the biggest fuss, they represent nothing but the scroats, they actually only represent those who commit crime, they are well known in the prison and police service and are just overpaid thugs themselves, the likes of you or me wouldn't stand a chance on being represented by them (unless you are a one of the scroats that is) this change is one of the best things to have happened in the last 10 years and should save quite a lot of money, next thing that they should do is stop giving those on the inside (prison) flat screens TVs to smash at will, you would be amazed on how much damage and cost these scroats actually cause while on the inside and this all comes out of your pocket and mine.
If you really want to know what happens in todays prisons just google it, I myself am speaking from first hand experience looking after this scum and seeing the damage and mayhem they cause
Tuckers the law firm especially are kicking up the biggest fuss, they represent nothing but the scroats, they actually only represent those who commit crime, they are well known in the prison and police service and are just overpaid thugs themselves, the likes of you or me wouldn't stand a chance on being represented by them (unless you are a one of the scroats that is) this change is one of the best things to have happened in the last 10 years and should save quite a lot of money, next thing that they should do is stop giving those on the inside (prison) flat screens TVs to smash at will, you would be amazed on how much damage and cost these scroats actually cause while on the inside and this all comes out of your pocket and mine. If you really want to know what happens in todays prisons just google it, I myself am speaking from first hand experience looking after this scum and seeing the damage and mayhem they cause V Meldrew
  • Score: 2

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