News story

Ending crime bosses free ride at the taxpayers' expense

This news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Amendments made to Crime and Courts Bill will put an end to millionaire criminals refusing to reimburse the taxpayer for free legal advice.

Amendments made to the Crime and Courts Bill announced today will put an end to millionaire criminals refusing to reimburse the taxpayer for the free legal advice they receive. 

Under the current system, wealthy defendants can have their assets ‘frozen’ - making millionaires eligible for taxpayer funded legal aid that is designed to protect the poorest and most vulnerable. 

Under the plans announced today, legal aid costs could be seized from ‘frozen’ assets, alongside compensation for victims and the proceeds of crime - making sure that the taxpayer is not left to foot the bill.  

Justice Secretary Chris Grayling said: 

‘The principles of fairness and equality are fundamental to our justice system. It’s high time the legal aid system was made fairer to the taxpayer; putting an end to crime bosses getting a free ride at the taxpayers’ expense.’