Justice Minister Andrew Little has revealed that legal aid expenditure in the 12 months to January has significantly increased on the year.
In response to a written question from National MP Alfred Ngaro, Little provided data for six different year-to-date periods from 1 August 2016 until 1 January 2017.
In the year to 1 January, legal aid expense was $84,144,716, up from $77,873,506 in the same period in fiscal 2016/17. In the 12 months to 1 December 2016, the government spent $68,472,478 on legal aid, compared to $61,561,357 in the previous comparable period.
The uptick started in year to 1 November 2016 period, with $53,015,888 spent, compared to $49,481,560 in the previous fiscal year.
There have been smaller increases in three different year-to-date data provided by the minister, as seen below:
- Year to 1 August 2016 $10,779,250
- Year to 1 August 2017 $10,796,318
- Year to 1 September 2016 $24,453,656
- Year to 1 September 2017 $25,263,551
- Year to 1 October 2016 $37,157,174
- Year to 1 October 2017 $39,564,236
Last year, data from the Ministry of Justice revealed that the average gross legal aid payment rose for the sixth straight year to $120,184.33 from $111,371.72 in 2016.
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