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The legal aid funding crisis is officially over, according to the Law Society. The society has seized on figures published in the Legal Aid Board's annual report which show spending is within budget for the fourth year running. Law Society vice president Phillip Sycamore said: "There is clearly no longer any need for panic measures that would irretrievably damage legal aid." However, legal aid critics have remained sceptical. Austin Mitchell, chair of the Campaign for a National Legal Service, said: "Subsidising the private sector causes waste of legal aid, fiddles and legal robbery." He added: "The only solution is to introduce a public service that puts the needs of the people above the greed of the two professions."