8. The role of the Scottish Fiscal Commission
The Scottish Fiscal Commission Act 2016 established the Scottish Fiscal Commission (“SFC”) as a statutory body to produce official fiscal and economic forecasts for the Government to use in its budget and financial planning.
Similar to Revenue Scotland, the SFC is constituted as a non-ministerial office; it operates independently of the Scottish Government and is directly accountable to the Scottish Parliament for the delivery of its functions.
Since April 2017, the SFC has been responsible for preparing the forecasts which underpin the Scottish Budget and its functions form an important part of Scotland’s fiscal framework. When the Scottish Government publishes its proposed Budget, the SFC also publish forecasts of the tax revenue along with how much the proposed policies are likely to raise and cost. This allows the Scottish Parliament to properly scrutinise the Budget's policy and financial implications ahead of the new financial year.
The SFC also produce forecasts outside of the Scottish Budget when primary or secondary legislation is published in the Scottish Parliament which affects revenue raised from a fully devolved tax. The Scottish Government works closely with the SFC to aid the development of their costings.
The Protocol for engagement between the Scottish Fiscal Commission and the Scottish Government underpins the engagement relating to the forecasting and assessment process.