Fiscal devolution and the accountability gap : budget scrutiny following tax devolution to Scotland

McIntyre, Stuart and Mitchell, James and Roy, Graeme (2022) Fiscal devolution and the accountability gap : budget scrutiny following tax devolution to Scotland. Regional Studies. ISSN 0034-3404 (In Press)

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Abstract

Financing regional government involves trade-offs between own-source taxes and grants. Improved accountability has been an argument behind calls for greater tax devolution but this argument relies upon effective scrutiny mechanisms existing or being developed. This paper explores such issues through the lens of recent tax devolution for Scotland. Drawing on insights from senior stakeholders we assess how scrutiny has changed in the aftermath of new powers. We conclude that despite some improvements, progress has been limited. We develop an analytical framework to understand why, drawing out lessons for improving accountability with fiscal decentralisation.