The government has today published its response to its recent consultation on further court fee increases. The good news for court users is that it has decided not to proceed with plans to increase the cap on fees to issue a money claim, which are currently calculated at 5% of claim value subject to a £10,000 cap following significant increases in March 2015. In its consultation, the government had proposed to increase the cap to "at least" £20,000, and invited views on whether there should be a higher cap or no cap at all (see post).
Today's response notes that these proposals attracted a high level of criticism from respondents to the consultation. It states that the government has taken account of these concerns, in particular the criticism that there has not been sufficient time to understand the impact of the March 2015 increases. However, it goes on to say that in view of the financial position, and the need to ensure the proper funding of the courts, the government does not rule out returning to this proposal in future, once it has had more time to assess the impact of the previous increases. So today's announcement may not be the last word.
The government is however planning to implement a number of fee increases, even if it is not going ahead with the headline proposals. These include:
- Fee increases of 10% across the range of civil proceedings, including enforcement proceedings and determination of costs proceedings.
- Introducing fees for the first time in the General Regulatory Chamber and the Tax Chamber of the First-tier Tribunal and in the Upper Tribunal Tax and Chancery Chamber.
- Introducing fees of £100 to issue proceedings in the Property Chamber and £200 for a hearing for most cases.