Money dedicated to reform scheme has risen in each of the last five years
Government spending on the programme to reform and digitise the courts system has passed £500m, after growing steadily in each of the last five years.
As of February 2019, some £513m has been spent on HM Courts and Tribunal Service’s reform scheme. This includes £165m during the first 11 months of the 2018/19 fiscal year – a record annual amount.
Spending has risen in each of the last five years, beginning with an outlay of £15m in 2014/15. This rose to £57m the following year, and then again, sharply, to £114m in 2016/17. In the 2018 fiscal year the programme was funded to the tune of £162m.
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The £513m now spent on the programme represents close to half the £1.2bn overall value that has previously been attached to the long-term programme of reform. The scheme will see numerous services and processes digitised, as well as various court locations closed down.
In a written parliamentary answer to a question posed by Labour MP Yasmin Qureshi, parliamentary under secretary of state for justice Lucy Frazer said: “The ambitious reform programme, developed in partnership with the judiciary is bringing new technology and modern ways of working to the justice system. New digital services are already making a difference, with 150,000 people using online justice systems in 2018. Public feedback is positive with 85% of people reporting they are happy with the new divorce service, 93% for probate, and 89% for civil money claims.”