Fiscal framework outturn report: 2019
The second Fiscal Framework Outturn Report forms part of a revised budget process – as recommended by the final report of the Budget Process Review Group - and follows on from May’s publication of Scotland’s Fiscal Outlook: The Scottish Government’s Five Year Financial Strategy.
9.1 Table 23 shows the Scottish Government's capital borrowing plans.
Table 23: Capital Borrowing and Repayment Schedule
|Debt Stock at start of year||607||1,036||1,258||1,662||1,946||1,868||1,783||1,698|
|Debt stock as percentage of debt cap||20%||35%||42%||55%||65%||62%||59%||57%|
|Repayment on 2015-16 borrowing||Capital||9.4||9.4||9.4||9.4||9.4||9.4||9.4||9.4|
|Repayment on 2016-17 borrowing||Capital||11.1||11.1||11.1||11.1||11.1||11.1||11.1||11.1|
|Repayment on 2017-18 borrowing||Capital||7.1||14.4||14.6||14.9||15.2||15.5||15.8|
|Repayment on 2018-19 borrowing||Capital||12.0||24.1||24.3||24.5||24.8||25.9|
|Repayment on 2019-20 borrowing||Capital||6.5||13.3||13.7||14.0||14.3|
|Repayment on 2020-21 borrowing||Capital||5.1||10.4||10.6||10.9|
|Repayment on 2021-22 borrowing||Capital|
|Repayment on 2022-23 borrowing||Capital|
|Total Repayments of Principal||20.5||27.6||46.8||65.8||78.1||84.2||85.4||86.5|
|Debt stock at end of year||1,036||1,258||1,662||1,946||1,868||1,783||1,698||1,612|
|Debt stock as percentage of debt cap||35%||42%||55%||65%||62%||59%||57%||54%|
|Repayment period for borrowing (years)||25||10||25*||25*|
*Figures are indicative. Final decisions on specific borrowing arrangements will be taken during the relevant financial year.
9.2 The Scottish Government borrowed £250 million in 2018-19 to support capital expenditure. This is less than the £450 million originally planned, largely as a result of additional consequential capital funding received from the UK Government. The borrowing was drawn down from the National Loans Fund and will be repaid over a 10 year period, at an interest rate of 1 percent.
9.3 The Scottish Government has announced plans to borrow the annual maximum of £450 million in 2019-20. Final decisions on the specific borrowing arrangements for 2019-20 will be taken over the course of the year.
9.4 The Scottish Government currently plans to borrow a further £350 million in 2020-21 to support the National Infrastructure Mission. Final decisions on future borrowing levels will be taken as part of the 2020-21 Budget and subsequent budget processes.
9.5 Chapter 3 of Scotland's Fiscal Outlook: The Scottish Government's Five Year Financial Strategy from May 2019 sets out the principles and policies that guide the use of the Scottish Government's fiscal powers. In relation to capital borrowing, it is the Scottish Government's policy to borrow between £250 million and £450 million over the remaining period of the National Infrastructure Mission. Final decisions are always taken within the relevant budget year, depending on circumstances. No assumptions for borrowing in the years from 2021-22 are included in table 23.
9.6 On the basis of existing and planned borrowing included in the table, the Scottish Government will have accumulated £1.66 billion in capital debt by the end of 2019-20, 55 per cent of its overall limit. Details on previous borrowing can be found in the Fiscal Framework Outturn Report published on 20 September 2018. Data on future borrowing will be published in subsequent bulletins.
9.7 The affordability and sustainability of all Scottish Government long-term revenue commitments, including repayment of debt stock, are assessed through the Budget process and are kept within a maximum of five per cent of the total annual resource budget available (excluding social security spend). The commitments included in the five per cent calculation are the Scottish Government's share of the ongoing costs of: previous Public Private Partnership (PPP) contracts that are now operational; Non-Profit Distributing (NPD) and Hub programmes; growth accelerator; and cost of borrowing. This self-imposed limit ensures that we do not overly constrain our budget choices in future years.
9.8 In its report, "Scotland's Economic and Fiscal Forecasts", published May 2019, the Scottish Fiscal Commission judged the Government's projections of capital borrowing as compliant with the terms set out in the Fiscal Framework.
9.9 The resource borrowing powers are deliberately restricted to very specific circumstances and do not detract from the fundamental requirement for a balanced Scottish budget each financial year. The Scottish Government has not used its resource borrowing powers to date. It has therefore not accumulated any debt which counts towards its overall and annual limits for resource borrowing.
9.10 The overall limit of resource borrowing is £1.75 billion and the total annual limit is £600 million. Resource borrowing can be used for in-year cash management (maximum £500 million annually, increasing to £600 million in case of a Scotland-specific economic shock) and in cases of forecast error (maximum £300 million annually, increasing to £600 million in case of a Scotland-specific 'economic shock').
9.11 The Scottish Government could invoke its resource borrowing powers for a net Budget shortfall to the extent that the outturn net Budget position falls below the forecast for each tax. Current estimates of this were outlined in previous sections. The Scottish Government will make a decision on whether and how to use resource borrowing based on the overall Budget situation.
9.12 No economic shock has occurred which would allow access to the additional resource borrowing and the Scottish Fiscal Commission has not forecast an economic shock. It is important to note that if the conditions for an economic shock are met it is not possible for the Scottish Government to apply resource borrowing to provide an economic stimulus – only to meet a shortfall in tax receipts or demand-led social security spending.
9.13 Chapter 3 of Scotland's Fiscal Outlook: The Scottish Government's Five Year Financial Strategy from May 2019 sets out the principles and policies that guide the use of the Scottish Government's fiscal powers and in particular how resource borrowing will be used in a way that balances the principles of Flexibility, Stability, and Value for Money.
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