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Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland 2020-21

Government Expenditure and Revenue Scotland (GERS) is a National Statistics publication. It estimates the revenue raised in Scotland and the goods and services provided for the benefit of Scotland.

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4 Devolved Revenue and Expenditure

Devolved and Reserved Revenue in Scotland 2020-21
A chart showing devolved and reserved revenue for Scotland in 2020-21
Devolved and Reserved Expenditure in Scotland 2020-21
A chart showing devolved and reserved expenditure for Scotland in 2020-21

Introduction

This chapter provides information on the amount of public sector revenue and expenditure currently devolved to Scotland and how this is changing with the implementation of the Scotland Act 2016.

Devolved Revenue

The table below sets out revenue raised in Scotland from taxes currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Total devolved tax revenue in 2020-21 was estimated at £16.9 billion.

Table 4.1: Currently devolved taxes
£ million
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Council tax 2,077 2,257 2,349 2,456 2,600
Non-domestic rates 2,731 2,762 2,847 2,761 1,816
Land and buildings transaction tax (devolved from 2015-16) 484 557 554 597 515
Scottish landfill tax (devolved from 2015-16) 149 148 149 119 106
Non-savings and non-dividend income tax liabilities (devolved from 2016-17)1 10,719 10,916 11,556 11,833 11,850
Total devolved taxes 16,160 16,640 17,455 17,766 16,887

1 This table shows Scottish Rate of Income Tax liabilities rather than receipts in a given year. They are therefore on a different basis to the estimates of total Scottish income tax receipts in Table 1.1. The figure for 2020-21 is the SFC forecast from January 2021.

Further devolution of taxes is due to continue in the next few years, with Air Passenger Duty and Aggregates Levy due to be devolved following the Scotland Act 2016. As well as further tax devolution, the Scotland Act 2016 allows for the first 10p of the standard rate of VAT receipts and the first 2.5p of the reduced rate of VAT receipts in Scotland to be assigned to the Scottish Government, although policy decisions will remain reserved. The transition period for VAT assignment began on 1 April 2019.

As these taxes are not yet devolved there is no outturn data associated with them, and the table below shows the estimated historical revenues from these taxes.

Table 4.2: Revenue to be devolved under Scotland Act 2016
£ million
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Air passenger duty (date of devolution to be decided) 256 274 290 273 34
Aggregates levy (date of devolution to be decided) 58 57 57 56 61
VAT assignment (from 2019-20) 4,828 5,304 5,588 5,478 4,818

Note: Assigned VAT receipts are 50% of total receipts in all years.

Further information on the planned devolution of taxes to the Scottish Government is available in the fiscal framework agreement between the Scottish and UK Governments.[21] Further information on the funding received by the Scottish Government is set out in the Fiscal Framework Outturn Report.[22]

Devolved Social Security

The table below shows the expenditure in Scotland from social security benefits devolved to the Scottish Parliament prior to implementation of Scotland Act 2016.

Table 4.3: Social security devolved prior to Scotland Act 2016
£ million
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Council tax reduction 332 327 331 340 372
Scottish welfare fund 35 33 35 38 59
Discretionary housing payments 52 59 62 66 76
Total 418 419 429 443 508

As social security benefits are devolved to the Scottish Government, they often initially continue to be administered by the Department for Work and Pensions under an Agency Agreement. The table below shows the latest available figures for social security spending which is due to be devolved to the Scottish Government under the Scotland Act 2016.

Table 4.4: Devolved social security under Scotland Act 2016
£ million
2016-17 2017-18 2018-19 2019-20 2020-21
Administered by Social Security Scotland
Best Start Grant (previously Sure Start maternity grant1) 3 2 4 21 18
Funeral Support Payment (previously Funeral Payment2) 5 5 5 4 11
Scottish Child Payment - - - - 9
Carer’s Allowance Supplement - - - 37 56
Child Winter Heating Assistance - - - - 3
Administered by Department and Work and Pensions under an Agency Agreement
Attendance Allowance 487 492 506 531 528
Carer’s Allowance 234 249 266 279 299
Disability living allowance 1,219 999 893 801 722
Personal independence payment 552 930 1,138 1,332 1,626
Industrial injuries disablement benefit 84 82 82 82 83
Severe disablement allowance 22 12 10 9 7
Benefits yet to be devolved
Cold weather payments 1 22 10 29 19
Winter fuel payment 178 176 173 171 173
Total expenditure on social security to be devolved 2,785 2,969 3,086 3,295 3,554

Notes:

1 Sure Start maternity grant was replaced in Scotland by the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant on 10 December 2018.

2 Funeral Payments were replaced in Scotland by the Scottish Government’s Funeral Support Payments in September 2019

Further information on the planned devolution of taxes and social security to the Scottish Government is available in the fiscal framework agreement between the Scottish and UK Governments.[23] Further information on the funding received by the Scottish Government is set out in the Fiscal Framework Outturn Report.[24]

Summary of current and proposed devolved powers

The table below shows estimates of devolved receipts and expenditure before and after the implementation of the Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016.

Table 4.5: Fiscal powers before and after Scotland Act 2016, 2020-21 (£ million)
Before Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016 After Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016
Non-saving non-dividend income tax liabilities (devolved from 2016-17) - 11,850
Council tax 2,600 2,600
Non-domestic rates 1,816 1,816
Land and buildings transaction tax (devolved from 2015-16) - 515
Scottish landfill tax (devolved from 2015-16) - 106
Air passenger duty (date to be decided) - 34
Aggregates levy (date to be decided) - 61
Total devolved taxes 4,416 16,983
Devolved taxes as % of non-North Sea Scottish revenue 7% 27%
as % of revenue incl geographical share of North Sea revenue 7% 27%
Assigned VAT (in transition from 2019-20) - 4,818
Total devolved and assigned taxes 4,416 21,800
Devolved and assigned taxes as % of non-North Sea Scottish revenue 7% 35%
as % of taxes incl geographical share of North Sea revenue 7% 35%
Devolved expenditure including housing benefit1 (HB) 55,291 58,845
Devolved taxes as % of estimated devolved expenditure 8% 29%
Devolved and Assigned taxes as % of estimated devolved expenditure 8% 37%

1 In GERS and the CRA, housing benefit is included in Scottish local government spending, as they make the payments to recipients, although it is set centrally and funded by the Department for Work and Pensions. Depending on definitions adopted, it could either be excluded or included in devolved expenditure.

Contact

Email: Economic.Statistics@gov.scot

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