The Ministry of Justice is seeking views on a new means test to determine whether people are entitled to a waiver of their civil court or tribunal fees.

Proposed changes include a test to identify low earners with substantial savings that would enable them to pay some or all of the fees. The MoJ also proposes a sliding scale of contributions to fees according to monthly incomes.

Helen Grant, courts minister, said: ‘We need a better and more targeted system of court fee remissions so that those who can afford to pay towards their civil or tribunal case do so. I want to ensure that the taxpayer contribution towards fee remissions is targeted towards those who need it most.’

The changes, expected to come into force by October, would also ensure that the system of remissions remains compatible with developments in welfare reforms, the MoJ said.

The consultation will be open for four weeks.