Will the right hon. Gentleman accept that great anxiety and hardship are suffered by people who are just outside the present legal aid limits and who cannot afford to pay for the legal representation which they require? Will he therefore indicate the stages which will be introduced for further steps in this direction?
We have received advice from the Legal Aid Advisory Committee which makes advisable certain changes in the regulations which were made. The effect of the new regulations will be to leave the average applicant in the same position as he was under the regulations laid by my predcessor in May. Some exceptional cases will be better off, and some will be marginally worse off, but that will be only marginal.
I thank the right hon. and learned Gentleman for his courtesy. I will take instructions from those who know better than I about that matter, but it is appreciated that the subject is important, and that there is also Scotland to consider.
It is always important that any such scheme should be properly and fairly administered. If my hon. Friend has any evidence of any matter which should be investigated, I should be grateful to receive it.