FURTHER savings must be made to the legal aid budget as Scottish Government funding is failing to meet demand, bosses have warned.
The Scottish Legal Aid Board (Slab) has forecast a funding gap of £11 million in 2013-14, and £12m the following year.
There has already been controversy over cuts to Scotland’s legal aid spend, with solicitors protesting over plans to make accused in criminal cases make a contribution to their bill.
However, it is the burgeoning civil demand that is driving up the bill.
Iain Robertson, chairman of Slab, said in the organisation’s annual report: “The pressure on legal aid expenditure continues.
“The size of the gap between the Scottish Government’s allocation for legal aid expenditure and our forecast expenditure is such that significant levels of further savings measures are required.”
Legal aid is demand-led in Scotland, which means that although a budget is set, the amount spent demands on how many people apply.