“under current Scottish and UK fiscal policies, if public services in Scotland are to continue to be delivered as they are today, Scottish Government spending over the next 50 years will exceed the estimated funding available by an average of 1.7% each year.”
What does Hunt’s first Budget mean for Scotland? (Update)
“The £320 million of money coming to Scotland mentioned in the Chancellor’s speech is for 2023-24 and 2024-25, but that’s all we’ve been told. Given that these figures will have been worked out in advance, there is surely no reason why these figures can’t be released in full at the same time as the rest of the Budget documents.”
Year of the Squeeze
“For all the talk of the pandemic (somehow) boosting worker power, it looks more likely to deliver the third real wage squeeze in a decade, and to leave workers substantially worse off than they would have been otherwise. By the end of 2024, average earnings are set to be £740 a year lower than they would have been if even the sluggish wage growth prior to the pandemic had continued.”
Why is inflation at its highest for decades?
As UK inflation hits a 10-year high of 5.1%, a leading Scottish economist asks why global prices are rising so fast – and what central banks must now do.
Kate’s budget blues
“A core resource block grant in 2022/23 that is 8% higher than pre-pandemic might sound generous, but to deal with the pandemic’s legacy and underlying public services pressures it is anything but. In this context, Kate Forbes’ third budget may well be her most challenging.”
Socialised power: electricity is a public good
The Scottish Government has dropped plans for a National Energy Company in favour of a watered-down advisory agency but the author says electricity should be treated as a public (common) good. The debate continues.
GERS 2020-2021: time for honest debate
“today’s numbers set the starting point for a discussion about the choices and challenges that need to be addressed by those advocating independence or new fiscal arrangements. It is not enough to say ‘everything will be fine’ or ‘look at this country, they can run a sensible fiscal balance so why can’t Scotland?’. Concrete proposals and ideas are needed.”
Letter to indy Scotland’s first finance minister
“And even though, with Scotland as an independent country, your policy options would be much greater, you have to be constantly aware of the trade-offs involved and the limitations on your power to influence the choices made by workers and by companies. You can at least take comfort from the fact that less prosperous nations with less well-developed institutions than Scotland manage these issues without the roof falling in.”
Tax policy in Holyrood 5
The author, fiscal expert at FAI, examines the tax changes designed to achieve greater fairness made in the fifth Scottish Parliament – and the scope for reform and greater powers in the next.
Sunak’s Budget and Scotland
“..further Covid-related allocations are designed to support the economy during ongoing restrictions – and these provide the Scottish Government with further resources during 2021/22. In years beyond that, this was a budget that aims to rebuild the economy by leveraging investment, whilst raising more from tax and tightening the screw on public services spending. But there is no role in the future economic vision for welfare policy or public services spending.”