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Budget: investment in Justice CBA view “Austerity for the MOJ is not an option if we are to repair the public’s shattered faith in the criminal justice system

Chris Henley QC, Chairman of the Criminal Bar Association, said:

“While the Government has found £160m extra  investment for specialist counter terrorism policing and some funding for the prison estate, Treasury figures confirm that the departmental resource budgets for Justice is still to be cut this year and next, to £6bn in 2019/20, down from £6.6bn allocated in 2017/18. Austerity for the MOJ  is not an option if we are to repair the public’s shattered faith in the criminal justice system.

Restoring legal aid to the minimum needed to allow fair access to justice remains an urgent priority if the government is serious about creating a one nation society.

Investing in police resources is essential if we are to  stem the haemorrhages in the criminal justice system. Any investment at the front end of both policing and the back end in prisons to protect society from harm, must go hand in hand with extra funding for criminal lawyers within the system to prevent miscarriages of justice and ensure the guilty can’t walk free.

Funding in the criminal justice system ensures the poor and vulnerable in society have access to justice and as importantly guarantees the core rule of law upon which Britain’s prosperity and economic well-being is founded.”

For CBA media enquiries contact:

James Rossiter

[email protected]


About the CBA 

The Criminal Bar Association exists to represent the views and interests of the practising members of the criminal bar in England and Wales.

The Criminal Bar Association, with nearly 4000 members provides continuing professional development, accreditation, information about the law, programs to assist barristers in their work, advice and initiatives to improve the Criminal Justice System for the public.



Autumn budget 29 October 2019

6.5 Defence and security

The government is taking further steps to ensure our Armed Forces and the police can respond to ever-changing threats and continue to protect our national security. The government also remains committed to building modern and decent prison places to replace old, expensive and unsuitable accommodation.

Defence spending – The Budget provides an additional £1 billion for the Ministry of Defence across 2018-19 and 2019-20. Together with the funding announced in March 2018, Defence will have benefitted from an additional £1.8 billion over 2018-19 and 2019-20. This will ensure that our world-class Armed Forces can continue to modernise and meet these threats, including prioritising key capabilities such as offensive cyber, anti-submarine warfare and the nuclear deterrent. (7)

Counter-terrorism police funding – The Budget provides an additional £160 million in 2019-20 for counter-terrorism policing to ensure that forces across the country are well equipped to work closely with our communities and keep citizens safe.

Prisons and the wider justice system – The Budget will fund the construction of HM Prison Glen Parva, and provides £30 million this year to improve security and decency across the prison estate. A further £21.5 million will also be invested in the wider justice system. (6)

Table 1.6: Departmental Resource Budgets (Resource DEL excluding depreciation)

£ billion
2018-19 2019-20
Resource DEL excluding depreciation (1)
Defence 28.4 29.0
Single Intelligence Account (2) 2.2 2.0
Home Office 10.8 10.7
Foreign and Commonwealth Office (3) 2.2 1.2
International Development (3,4) 7.7 8.2
Health (inc. NHS) 123.3 129.6
  of which: NHS England 114.6 121.8
Work and Pensions 6.0 5.4
Education 62.5 63.5
Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy 1.7 1.8
Transport (5) 2.1 2.9
Exiting the European Union 0.1 0.1
Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 1.5 1.5
MHCLG Housing and Communities 2.6 2.3
MHCLG Local Government 4.7 5.9
Scotland (6) 14.7 15.7
Wales (7) 13.3 11.6
Northern Ireland 10.3 10.3
Justice 6.3 6.0
Law Officers Departments 0.6 0.6
Environment, Food and Rural Affairs 1.6 1.5
HM Revenue and Customs 3.4 3.2
HM Treasury 0.2 0.2
Cabinet Office 0.4 0.3
International Trade 0.4 0.3
Small and Independent Bodies 1.5 1.3
Reserves (8) 5.2 12.3
Adjustment for Budget Exchange (9) -0.6 -0.4
Total resource DEL excluding depreciation 313.0 327.0
OBR allowance for shortfall (10) -2.2 -1.7
OBR resource DEL excluding depreciation forecast 310.8 325.4
1. Resource DEL excluding depreciation is the Treasury’s primary control total within resource budgets and the basis on which Spending Review settlements were made.
2. The SIA budget in 2018-19 includes transfers from other government departments, which have yet to be reflected in later years.
3. Figures for 2019-20 do not reflect all transfers which will made from DfID to other government departments, as the cross government funds have not been allocated for that year.
4. Figures reflect Budget 2018 adjustments made as a result of revised GNI forecasts, as well as previous adjustments made at Autumn Budget 2017 and Autumn Statement 2016.
5. From 2019-20 Transport DEL includes funding for expenditure by Network Rail. This was formerly part of Department for Transport’s Annually Managed Expenditure (AME) budget.
6. The Scottish Government’s resource DEL block grant has been adjusted from 2016-17 onwards as agreed in the Scottish Government’s Fiscal Framework. The adjustment accounts for the devolution of Stamp Duty Land tax and Landfill Tax in 2016-17; Income tax powers and revenues from Scottish courts in 2017-18; and Carers Allowance in 2018-19. Expenditure by the Scottish Government, funded by the block grant and devolved taxes, is now included within the OBR’s AME forecasts.
7. The Welsh Government’s resource DEL block grant has been adjusted from 2018-19 onwards as agreed in the Welsh Government’s Fiscal Framework. In 2018-19 an adjustment reflects the devolution of Stamp Duty Land Tax and Landfill Tax and in 2019-20 a further adjustment reflects the devolution of the Welsh Rates of Income Tax.
8. The reserve in 2018-19 reflects allocations made at Main Estimates and Budget 2018. In 2019-20 it includes provision for additional pension costs for departments, as a result of the SCAPE rate change.
9. Departmental budgets in 2018-19 and 2019-20 include amounts carried forward from 2017-18 through Budget Exchange, which will be voted at Main Estimates. These increases will be offset at Supplementary Estimates in future years so are excluded from spending totals.
10. The OBR’s forecast of underspends in resource DEL budgets.


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