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Government extends legal aid

More domestic abuse victims-survivors will have access to legal aid in England and Wales after Westminster government reforms have ensured 6m-plus more people are eligible.

Those on universal credit and seeking a protection order for themselves or their children against their attackers can more easily obtain legal aid without a means test, the ministry of justice said.

The upper income limit for magistrates’ court representation has been raised to £34,950 from £22,325, and for civil cases to £34,950 from £31,884. Also, disputed or inaccessible assets will no longer be considered when assessing someone’s financial eligibility for aid, the ministry added. That is expected to benefit those who have a joint mortgage with their abuser.

The government has pledged £25m annually to boost the legal aid system.

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