Floella Benjamin, Lib Dem Peer, Warns On Government's Legal Aid Reforms
Liberal Democrat peer and former children's TV presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin has warned "vulnerable families and children" will be hit by the government's legal aid reforms.
In an article for epolitix.com, she cautions that the coalition's £350m cuts could harm the poor.
"I hope a way is found of resolving this potentially catastrophic situation by making payments at least quarterly, as I fear for the wellbeing of those who rely so heavily on these solicitors," she says.
"The ones who will ultimately suffer if nothing is done are, of course, the children – and that breaks my heart."
She says the changes to legal aid funding are not sustainable and firms which help families will find they do not have the "cash flow" to continue.
Baroness Benjamin's stark warning follows that of backbench Conservative MP's Anna Soubry.
In a meeting in September attended by the attorney general Dominic Greive, the Chairman of the Family Law Bar Association said 68,000 people including vulnerable families, and victims of domestic abuse, could be hit by the cuts.
She is due to ask a question about the matter in the House of Lords on Tuesday afternoon.