‘Unprotected areas of the Scottish budget should avoid real terms cuts in 2020/21, but they should not expect a spending bonanza.’ Latest FAI analysis…
‘Much more could be done by government to defend these statistics and proactively clear-up misunderstandings.’
‘If Scotland is to meet the challenges of the next decade and beyond – and take advantage of the undoubted opportunities that will arise – it is likely to require a much bolder economic policy agenda’
‘But what can be said with certainty, if these forecasts are correct, is that the amount of money that the government had planned to have at their disposal – all other factors remaining equal – will be much smaller’.
‘The challenge with setting ambitious targets is that parliament can be judged, not just on whether or not it is meeting these targets, but on the effectiveness of the reforms they are implementing.’
‘All of these assumptions are necessarily educated guesswork. Add all the ‘worst case’ scenarios for each of these elements and you end up with an economy that shrinks by an eye-watering £11bn figure.’
‘In short, (these) statistics confirm that putting up barriers with our largest international trading partner (EU) is only likely to weaken Scotland’s growth prospects’
A key aim of the Smith Commission was to improve accountability and make Scotland’s politicians responsible for the money that they spent. Unfortunately rather than helping to deliver this aim, the current proposals for VAT assignment risk undermining that principle.
‘In short, ‘ending austerity’ is possible with significant but not unrealistic spending increases. What makes a promise to end austerity politically difficult is that it cannot be achieved without tax rises if the government is to keep to its fiscal rules and commitments.’
‘It is important to remember that GERS takes the current constitutional settlement as given. If the very purpose of independence is to take different choices about the type of economy and society that we live in, then a set of accounts based upon the current constitutional settlement and policy priorities will tell us little about the long-term finances of an independent Scotland.’