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Legal Aid Scheme

Question for Ministry of Justice

UIN 36631, tabled on 4 May 2016

To ask the Secretary of State for Justice, if he will review his Department's policy of charging interest at eight per cent per annum for repayment of legal aid.

Answered on

9 May 2016

The Legal Aid Agency (LAA) has received the following in interest repayments on outstanding civil interest bearing debt over the last ten years:

Financial year

Interest Repayments (£000s)

2014-15

6,236

2013-14

6,624

2012-13

5,985

2011-12

7,052

2010-11

5,212

2009-10

5,709

2008-09

5,615

2007-08

7,760

2006-07

9,450

2005-06

9,182

There is no interest charged on criminal debt.

The statutory charge has existed since the inception of the legal aid scheme and the Government believes it is right for those who are funded through legal aid and recover property to repay their costs. The current level of simple interest is appropriate in discouraging vexatious or unnecessary legal action and encourages early repayment.

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