§ Mr. Swinney
To ask the Secretary of State for Scotland for what reasons the Registers of Scotland have increased the cost of access to(a) the sasine search sheets and (b) the on-line database for the register of inhibitions. 
§ Mr. McLeish
The fee contained in the Fees in the Registers of Scotland Order 1995 (SI 1995 No. 1945) for the searching of any Register of Sasines search sheet affecting one property is £7. There has been no increase in this fee. Private searchers enjoy special arrangements whereby a "badge" fee enables each searcher to have access to the search sheet between 08.30 and 16.30 each day. This preferential arrangement permits a "badgeholder" to make multiple searches during this time. A daily "badge" fee of £30 was set in 1993 and was based on the £5 fee for a search of any one search sheet contained in the 1991 Fees Order. The 1995 Fees Order increased this £5 fee to £7 and the daily "badge" fee, as part of a catch-up exercise, has been increased, pro rata and with effect from 1 May 1997 from £30 to £42.
The fee contained in the Fees in the Registers of Scotland Order 1995 (S.I. 1995 No. 1945) for searching each group of six names or less in the Register of Inhibitions and Adjudications is £7. Historically, the fee for on-line searching of this computerised Register has borne no relation to the search fee as set up in successive Fees Orders. Over the years there has been a gradual catching-up exercise underway. Prior to 1 May 1997 the fee for searching each group of six names or less was £0.94, an 86 per cent. discount on the fee as set out in the 1995 Fees Order. With effect from 1 May 1997 the discount has been reduced to 50 per cent. The new fee of £3.50 for searching each group of six names or less in now related to the 1995 Fees Order.