Existence of Fiscal Transfers

Information request and response under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002.

Information requested

You asked for:

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/539499/response/1290029/attach/4/FOI%2018%2003746%20response%20vA32853756.pdf? cookie_passthrough=1

I refer to the above FOI and the following sections.

”However, it is important to note that this figure does not represent a fiscal transfer from the rest of the UK to Scotland. Official figures for any fiscal transfer are not available. The reason this information is not available is that such a figure requires a number of assumptions to be made. For example, as the UK as a whole spends more than is raised in revenue, an assumption would need to be made about which parts of the UK borrowing is undertaken for, or which types of public spending are financed by borrowing as opposed to taxation. This information is not available as, for example, some taxes are ringfenced to fund particular services; for example, some national insurance contributions are ring-fenced to fund the NHS. As such, any figure for a fiscal transfer from the rest of the UK to Scotland would rely on a number of assumptions. Similarly, note that the ONS publication on regional public sector finances you refer to does not include numbers for fiscal transfers.”

Can you confirm that your decision as stated not to calculate the fiscal transfer does not mean that such fiscal transfers do not exist.


The answer to your question is that, as is common in many countries, fiscal transfers exist in the UK between different parts of government and different parts of the UK. The Scottish Government publishes information on the funding it receives from the UK Government as part of its budget documents, available at:

Scottish Budget - gov.scot (www.gov.scot)

About FOI

The Scottish Government is committed to publishing all information released in response to Freedom of Information requests. View all FOI responses at http://www.gov.scot/foi-responses.


Please quote the FOI reference
Central Enquiry Unit
Email: ceu@gov.scot
Phone: 0300 244 4000

The Scottish Government
St Andrews House
Regent Road

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