Unite to protest over legal services funding

Trade union will demonstrate outside Legal Services Commission over changes to charities' payments

Trade union Unite is to stage a demonstration outside the Legal Services Commission's offices in London on Monday to protest at new ways of funding legal services.

The commission, which runs the legal aid system in England and Wales, started paying charities and law firms that carry out work on its behalf per case rather than per hour last year.

Charities claim the new system reduces their funding because they deal with hard-to-reach people who require more time.

Rachael Maskell, national officer for the community and non-profit sector at Unite, said many law and advice centres had already been forced to close and called for advice providers to receive "proper remuneration for the work they do".

She added: "We would like a proportion of the welcomed £15m earmarked by Chancellor Alistair Darling in his Pre-Budget Report for debt advice channeled into this area."

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