Britain’s Ministry of Justice (MoJ) faces a real-terms spending cut next year, according to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, which cites figures from the British government’s autumn statement yesterday (17 November).
The MoJ's day-to-day spending budget of £9.4 billion for 2022/23 will rise by 4% in 2023/24 to £9.8 billion.
The following year will see the budget rise by just 2% to £10 billion, according to the Gazette, which points out that the Office for Budget Responsibility predicts an inflation rate of 7.4% next year.
Lawyers' leaders, who this week called for recognition of justice as a key public service, condemned the cuts.
Hunt for savings to go on
The MoJ’s capital budget will rise, however, by 35% in 2023/24 to £2.3 billion before falling in 2024/25 to £1.5 billion.
The latter figure is less than capital spending is forecast to be this year (£1.7 billion).
The Gazette says that the MoJ was one of the worst-hit victims of post-2008 crash austerity in Britain, with its overall budget plunging 25% in real terms between 2010-11 and 2019-20.
According to the chancellor Jeremy Hunt (pictured), “government departments will continue to identify efficiency savings in day-to-day budgets”.
Review of EU law
Hunt’s statement also revealed that, to boost the housing market, stamp duty land-tax concessions would remain in place until 31 March 2025. The British government will amend the Stamp Duty Land Tax (Reduction) Bill to implement this measure.
Treasury documents also restate the British government's ambition to reform retained EU law.
“As part of this programme, the government will move rapidly to review retained EU law in key growth industries – including digital technology, life sciences, green industries, financial services, and advanced manufacturing - to identify changes that can be made over the next year which have the greatest potential to unlock growth,” the Gazette quotes the documents as saying.