A primer on the Scottish Parliament's new fiscal powers : what are they, how will they work, and what are the challenges?

Eiser, David (2017) A primer on the Scottish Parliament's new fiscal powers : what are they, how will they work, and what are the challenges? Fraser of Allander Economic Commentary, 41 (2). pp. 26-41. ISSN 2046-5378

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    Abstract

    This article provides an overview of Scotland’s new Fiscal Framework. The Fiscal Framework sets out how the new powers devolved to the Scottish Parliament in the Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016 will be made operational. It provides a brief overview of the history of fiscal devolution to Scotland since the establishment of the Scottish Parliament in 1999. From relying on a Block Grant from Westminster to fund virtually all its expenditure, the Scottish Parliament now has a range of revenue raising powers including substantial flexibility to vary income tax rates and thresholds; moreover the Scottish budget will in future be much more closely linked to the performance of the Scottish economy. In addition, the Scottish Parliament will gain a range of powers in relation to social security. The mechanisms and method(s) for adjusting Scotland’s Block Grant – Block Grant Adjustments (BGA’s) – the forecasting role of the new Scottish Fiscal Commission and Scotland’s new capital borrowing, resource and cash management powers are all outlined. . Finally, the implications for Scotland’s budget process and what the new arrangements could mean for the Scottish Government’s ability to impact on Scotland’s economy