Labour Will Restore Legal Aid For Benefit Appeals

Same Difference

A Labour government will restore legal aid for people appealing against cuts to benefits such as universal credit, the shadow justice secretary, Richard Burgon, is to announce.

Those seeking to challenge decisions by the Department for Work and Pensions on welfare payments, many of which are incorrect, will be able to obtain legal advice to help them pursue appeals, Labour is pledging.

Burgon argues that restoring such financial support would encourage the DWP to get decisions right first time, thereby reducing costs for the Ministry of Justice.

More than two-thirds of appeals against DWP decisions on personal independence payments (Pips) and employment support allowance (ESA) are successful, says Labour, adding that those decisions have affected thousands of vulnerable people with illnesses, disabilities or in poor health.

Since the coalition government’s Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act (Laspo) came into effect in early 2013, the number of people receiving…

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