Scotland's Budget Report 2017

Fraser of Allander Institute; Eiser, David and Roy, Graeme. (2017) Scotland's Budget Report 2017. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Scotland faces considerable public spending restraint in the years to come. Through a combination of ongoing fiscal consolidation at the UK level, a relatively fragile economic environment and major policy commitments to be paid for, the resources available to fund many public services will continue to be squeezed. Such pressures are not just restricted to the near-term. With an ageing population and rising health costs, more money will need to be found to support the health service even to stand still. Changes in the balance of and scale of public spending; how public services are delivered and prioritised; and the way in which devolved revenues are raised, are all likely to be required. Continuing as before is not an option if Scotland’s devolved budget is to be sustainable in the long term. This is not a challenge just for the Scottish Government but for all political parties in Scotland. An open and transparent debate about the sustainability of the public finances – and the options for reform – is now essential.