We use cookies to collect and analyse information on site performance and usage to improve and customise your experience, where applicable. View our Cookies Policy. Click Accept and continue to use our website or Manage to review and update your preferences.

Hunt statement ‘overlooked’ legal sector
Pic: Shutterstock

23 Nov 2023 / britain Print

Hunt statement ‘overlooked’ legal sector

British Chancellor Jeremy Hunt  (pictured) has been accused of ignoring the legal sector as he outlined his vision for the country’s economy yesterday (22 November).

Hunt delivered an autumn statement that included a cut in national insurance contributions and an 8.5% increase in the state pension.

According to the Law Society Gazette of England and Wales, however, measures specifically aimed at the legal sector were largely absent.

Justice spending flat

The Treasury revealed later that justice spending would be unchanged at Stg £10 billion from 2023/24 to 2024/25.

The Gazette says that this is effectively a cut in real terms, given that inflation is currently around 4.6%.

Hunt announced that the British Government would make full expensing permanent – allowing businesses to offset investment in infrastructure against tax – but this applies only to corporation tax, so law-firm LLPs cannot benefit from the scheme.

‘Missed chance’

Nick Emmerson (President of the Law Society of England and Wales) said: “While it is great news for business that full expensing has been made permanent, it is disappointing that parts of the legal-services sector have once again been overlooked. Our call for the scheme to be expanded to include all law firms has gone unheard.”

Emmerson said that the government had missed the chance to invest in a legal-services sector that needed support to continue to be an economic powerhouse.

“No new money was announced for a justice system crying out for investment, despite it being in crisis with huge court backlogs, crumbling court buildings and a chronic shortage of lawyers and judges,” he stated.

Gazette Desk
Gazette.ie is the daily legal news site of the Law Society of Ireland