While the announcement of the 'Legal Aid U-Turn' has been welcomed, the government should come clean about how much public money has been wasted, as Lord Falconer believes ministers should be held fully accountable.
Lord Falconer has today asked the National Audit Office to investigate how much the abortive attempt to impose criminal legal aid reforms cost the taxpayer. Justice secretary Michael Gove last week announced that he had decided not to introduce a new dual contracting regime. Falconer said: ‘This is a significant change in policy and one that has taken place very late in the day. Not only will many criminal law firms have already taken decisions either to expand or to cut staff based on their success in the bidding process, but much time and expenditure is likely to have already been spent by the MoJ and LAA.’