I have previously expressed my views on the use of the Probate Registry fee increase as a disguised tax.
It now seems there might be the possibility of a Parliamentary challenge. The joint committee (made up of members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords) which oversees statutory instruments has questioned the legality of the draft statutory instrument giving effect to the fee increases.
The committee is recommending that before the change is implemented the statutory instrument is considered by both Houses of Parliament. It is probably premature to celebrate because the fact remains that in 2014 the Government introduced legislation enabling it to charge a fee “intended to exceed the cost of anything in respect of which the fee is charged”.
The Government is certainly taking little notice of the committee because it has said it intends to press on with the fee increase in May. The precise date is still not known.
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