I thank the minister for the answer, but it is a completely tone-deaf response that betrays a fundamental misunderstanding of the profession. Many people have warned for years that legal aid funding is at a level that means that new talent is reluctant to enter the discipline, that partners retire and that solicitors suffer burnout and mental health challenges, as they try to balance one of the most difficult disciplines with appalling compensation. The decline has been going on for years and the Government has done nothing meaningful to arrest it.
I assume that the minister is confirming that she will not increase legal aid to an appropriate level, so what is the Government doing now to increase the number of firms that offer criminal and civil legal aid? Will she provide us with the research that suggests that it will work?