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.

10. Scotland Reserve

10.1 The opening balance in the Scotland Reserve at the start of 2018-19 was £538 million. The closing balance on the Reserve for 2018-19 is £568 million, as reported to Parliament at Provisional Outturn in June 2019.

10.2 The currently expected drawdown from the Scotland Reserve in 2019-20 is £334 million (resource and capital). £301 million of this is accounted for by underspend from the previous financial year, Devolved Taxes forecast surplus receipts and Guarantee Fee income.

10.3 On the basis of planned drawdowns outlined at provisional outturn 2019, the residual balance of the Scotland Reserve is £233.5 million. An update on the reserve position, including the changes from the confirmation of final outturn against the 2018-19 budget will be provided with the 2019-20 Spring Budget Revision.

10.4 Table 24 shows the 2018-19 Reserve position as reported to Parliament at Provisional Outturn in June 2019.

Table 24: 2018-19 Scotland Reserve Forecast At 31 March 2019 (£ Million)

  Resource Capital Financial Transaction Total
2018-19 Opening Balance 440.1 86.5 11.4 538.0
2018-19 Planned Drawdowns -250.0 -22.0 - -272.0
2018-19 Additions to reserve 179.3 0.8 121.4 301.5
Of which:        
General underspend 171.3 0.8 121.4 293.5
Devolved Taxes forecast surplus receipts 5.0 - - 5.0
Guarantee Fee Income 3.0 - - 3.0
2018-19 Closing Balance (Provisional) 369.4 65.3 132.8 567.5
2019-20 Planned Drawdowns -234.0 -65.3 -34.7 -334.0
2019-20 Closing Balance (Provisional) 135.4 - 98.1 233.5

10.5 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, including the use of the Scotland Reserve. The Scottish Government intends to build up the balance in the Scotland Reserve over time as resources allow, in order to have a financial cushion available while ensuring that there remains sufficient capacity in the Reserve to prudently manage any underspend across financial years. A carefully managed reserve is a key element of managing the financial volatility that can arise through the operation of the Fiscal Framework.



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