Proposal to increase bankruptcy fees withdrawn
The Scottish Government have announced that plans to increase fees payable to the Accountant in Bankruptcy are to be reviewed and that planned increases are not to proceed while the review is carried out. David Menzies looks at the decision and the part ICAS has played.
Scottish Government Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy, Paul Wheelhouse MSP, has announced that proposals to increase fees payable to the Accountant in Bankruptcy (AiB) are to be revoked.
The move follows evidence given to the Scottish Parliament’s Economy, Jobs and Fair Work Committee by David Menzies, ICAS Director of Insolvency, and Govan Law Centre.
In a letter to the Convenor of the Committee, the Minister confirmed that in light of the issues raised an instrument revoking the Bankruptcy Fees (Scotland) Regulations 2017 (the Regulations) would be laid in Parliament.
Mr Wheelhouse continued:
‘…I propose that AiB will consult on our behalf on revised proposals, taking into account constructive points raised by the Committee in the evidence session, and your letter, before we bring forward a new set of regulations to the Committee…’
The decision to undertake a wider consultation in formulating revised proposals is welcomed by ICAS as one of the criticisms raised during our evidence was the lack of transparency of the limited consultation that was undertaken prior to presenting the Regulations in Parliament.
During evidence, ICAS called for a fundamental review of the bankruptcy fees regime to be carried out.
ICAS will continue to engage constructively with the AiB as they bring forward alternative proposals. Revised proposals should ensure that fees payable out of insolvent estates to the Scottish Government agency are proportionate, transparent, sustainable and represent value for money for services provided.