In March 2021 the Government launched a consultation on increasing selected Court fees and help with fees income threshold by inflation. The consultation closed in May and responses have been published.
The Government’s rationale for increasing fees in line with historic inflation goes back to 2016 when it was noted that the income received from fees was, at that time, less than half the running costs of the Court and Tribunal system. The additional cost was subsidised by the tax payer. The Court and Tribunal fees have since been reviewed to reflect the cost of the service but there have been minimal increases since 2016, which is what has prompted this review.
Of the responses to the consultation, 61% of Respondents disagree with the proposals, saying it was not the right time due to the Covid-19 Pandemic and the potential impact on the reduction of Access to Justice. Even among those that did agree, there was still some commentary regarding the timing of the increase. Despite the fact that the overall feeling was that this was not the right time, the Government have decided to proceed with an inflationary increase anyway. This will also include raising the Help with Fees income threshold in line with inflation. The increases are going to come into effect from 30th September 2021. The full list of fees that will be increased later this month can be found in the appendix to the Government’s response to the consultation HERE.