Wednesday, 4 February 2015 - 13:53
Justice Sec. must justify legal aid budget cuts: Senators
A majority of the Senate wants clarification from State Secretary Fred Teeven (Security and Justice) about the cuts he wants to make to the legal aid budget. With these cuts Teeven ignores the wishes of the Senate, who rejected the 85 million euro cut last month. The Secretary of State indicated that he would let the 13 million euro cut in 2015 go through, but suspend the other 72 million in subsequent years. The senators who oppose the cuts regret that and want to know exactly what he is going to do this year, CDA senator Hans Franken said on Tuesday. "It is a major attack on the quality of justice, while there is relatively not a large amount involved with this this coming year." said Franken, who drafted the motion against the deliberate cuts. A letter will be sent to the Secretary of State on the initiative of the CDA, SP and Groenlinks. According to Franken, a majority will already sign the letter with the support from the PVV, ChristenUnie, PvdD and the independent OSF. The D66 supports Franken's motion, but the party has not yet indicated whether they will sign the letter. The Senate wants an answer from Teeven by Fiday. The Second Chamber also thinks that there is a lot of uncertainty and wants a debate with the ministers of Security and Justice regarding the funding. The VVD and PvdA have stated that they accept that Justice spends more than budgeted because of the growing threat of jihadists.