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The Government public expenditure plans for Scotland : 1999-00 to 2001-02

Ashcroft, Brian (1999) The Government public expenditure plans for Scotland : 1999-00 to 2001-02. Quarterly Economic Commentary, 24 (3). pp. 33-42. ISSN 0306-7866

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On 30 March 1999, the Government published its public expenditure plans for Scotland for the period 1999-00 to 2001-02.1 The document provides detailed information on actual and planned expenditures and adds to the information published in the March Budget2 and in the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR)3 of last year. In the March Commentary, the Institute analysed the Scottish Office expenditure implications of the Budget, but this was confined to the Scottish Office Departmental Expenditure Limit (DEL)4. The publication of Cm 4215 now enables a fuller analysis of recent expenditure activity and of the Government's plans for public expenditure in Scotland over the next three years. The structure of this briefing paper is as follows. Part 1 discusses the objectives that underpin the Government's plans. Part 2 provides an analysis of the total budget within the responsibility of the Secretary of State for Scotland and, from 1 July 1999, the Scottish Parliament. Plans for the Scottish budget are compared with plans for public expenditure in the rest of the UK. Adjustments are made to the data so that comparisons between Scotland and the rest of the UK can be made over time and on the basis of comparable programmes. Part 3 analyses the proposed allocation of expenditure within the Scottish budget. Key changes by programme are identified and an index is calculated which indicates the degree of planned resource or priority reallocation between programmes. Part 4 offers some conclusions.