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Scottish legal aid coverage to be extended
Over a million extra people in Scotland will soon be able to claim financial help for the cost of civil court cases. Justice Secretary Kenny MacAskill said changes in legal aid rules were the latest in a series of steps to help low income and hard-pressed families and businesses.
From April 2009, the upper disposable income threshold for civil legal aid will more than double, to £25,000.
At present, less than half of all people in Scotland could potentially apply for legal aid in civil actions such as divorce proceedings, child custody cases and employment tribunals.
But the new measures will increase this number to three-quarters of the population eligible to seek free or subsidised legal aid.
The amount of disposable income will be a major factor in whether or not they get legal aid.