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Justice for All - Sheffield says No Cuts to Free Advice

Fri 3 Jun 2011, 5pm outside Sheffield Town Hall

Advice workers and solicitors are demonstrating at a rally at Government plans to cut 2/3 of legal aid. The proposals will hit the poorest people the hardest and the main cuts are targeted at low-cost preventative work, not expensive high-profile trials. Free legal advice would be abolished for problems with employment, welfare benefits, family law, immigration and consumer problems, as well as most debt and housing advice, needed by an estimated 650,000 people each year. At present, this is delivered to people on low incomes by Citizens Advice Bureaux, independent advice centres, the Law Centre and private practice solicitors. Many solicitors firms have stopped doing legal aid work in recent years and now only offer paid-for services to those who can afford them.Speakers at the event include Green Party councillor Jillian Creasy, MP David Blunkett, along with legal aid practitioners and clients of these vital services. Carita Thomas, of Young Legal Aid Lawyers, says legal aid is a safety net for the most vulnerable. It is there to help people through the hard times, whether it's getting contact with their kids or employment or debt advice when they lose their jobs. The government's cuts will hit us all but particularly women, minorities and the disabled who are most likely to need free help.Justice for All is a collation of over 3000 charities, legal and advice agencies, politicians, trade unions, community groups and members of the public holding this national day of action on 3rd June to raise awareness of the effect of the proposed cut in access to justice, with a series of events around the country.For more details email Carita Thomas tel 07791 450620 or Douglas Johnson tel Sheff 2731501 / 07981 860662.

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