The legal profession appears to be resistant to proposals that its members collect fees from those deemed able to pay a share of their defence costs ("Hundreds of lawyers protest at £4m cuts", The Herald, November 14).

Perhaps this reluctance is based on the experience of those who practise NHS dentistry who have toiled under a similar scheme for decades. It would be difficult to find many dentists who believe a method of funding which penalises those patients who are in work actually increases the standard of dental treatment, or is the optimum method of improving dental health.

A system where patients exempt from paying dental fees can have whatever treatment they want unrestricted by cost, yet patients who pay taxes have their treatment based on and restricted by their disposable income, is patently unfair.

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That dentists are used indirectly as tax collectors is an unnecessary burden on the profession. The creation of exempt-from-payment status introduces unnecessary complications and opportunity for fraud. I imagine a similar system to cover legal aid will be beset with the same problems.

David J Crawford,

131 Shuna Street, Glasgow.