Compensation for Justices of the Peace – Scottish consultation on financial loss allowance for JPsMonday, October 13th, 2008
On 29 September 2008, the Scottish Government published a consultation document entitled Consultation on Allowance Rates for Justices of the Peace in Scotland.
Under provisions in the Criminal Proceedings etc. (Reform) (Scotland) Act 2007, District Courts managed by local authorities are being replaced by Justice of the Peace Courts (JP Courts). So far, this has occurred in the sheriffdoms of Lothian and Borders and of Grampian, Highland and Islands., where the JP Courts are now managed by the Scottish Court Service.
Justices of the Peace (JPs), who are not known as “magistrates” in Scotland, are currently paid allowances in respect of travel, subsistence and financial loss. In Scotland, these allowances and expenses have not been revised since 2000. The consultation seeks views on the method used for calculating allowances and the criteria for adjusting them routinely.
With reference to financial loss allowances paid to JPs, the allowances paid to magistrates in England and Wales are set by HM Courts Service and are reviewed in line with the mean earnings for all full-time employees, as reported by the Office of National Statistics from the Annual Survey of Hours and Earnings. There are separate rates for employed and self-employed magistrates, with the employed rate set at 80% of the self-employed rate, in recognition of the 20% basic tax rate.
The rates payable to JPs in Scotland are significantly lower than the allowances that can be claimed by magistrates in England and Wales.
The Scottish Government intends to adjust these rates and to change the percentage at which the employed rate is set from 77% (based on the old 23% basic tax rate) to 80% (based on the current 20% basic tax rate).
Consultation on Allowance Rates for Justices of the Peace in Scotland
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