The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has recently published its consultation response following the consultation paper, “Increasing selected court fees and Help with Fees income thresholds by inflation”.
The MOJ has confirmed that it will increase 129 court fees with effect from 30 September 2021, via publication of a series of Statutory Instruments, which it has stated is imminently to be laid before Parliament.
The MOJ has pointed out that the increases are in line with inflation, and has argued that therefore there is no increase in real terms. The news has generated considerable response from relevant stakeholders. The Law Gazette has pointed out that the majority of respondents to the consultation opposed any increase in fees. Common reasons for respondents taking this stance were the poor quality of service provided by HM Courts & Tribunals Service, and the unsuitable timing given the impact of COVID-19 on court users.
Most pertinently for LPC Law’s stakeholders, the Civil Proceedings Fees Order 2008 shall be amended. Whereas currently, the fee for ‘Any Other Remedy (County Court) is £308, this will increase by the amount of £24 which was proposed in the consultation, to £332.
Hearing fees for Small Claims Track cases are to be increased, with a graded scale depending on the claim value:
- £27 for claims up to £300 (increased from £25)
- £59 for claims over £300 and up to £500 (increased from £55)
- £85 for claims over £500 and up to £1000 (increased from £80)
- £123 for claims over £1000 and up to £1500 (increased from £115)
- £181 for claims over £1500 and up to £3000 (increased from £170)
- £346 for claims over £3000 (increased from £335)
Application Fees for Attachment of Earnings Orders, Charging Orders and Third Party Debt Orders are rising by £9 apiece, to £119.
Alongside the rises in court fees, the income caps for Help With Fees is also increasing. For those court users who do not claim benefits, the threshold for a single person’s monthly before-tax income is rising to £5170 from £5085. Couple’s premiums and Child premiums will be £175 and £265 respectively. Those earning beyond those thresholds are ineligible for Help With Fees.