Chapter 4: Devolved Revenue & Expenditure
Following the implementation of Scotland Act 2012 and Scotland Act 2016, the powers of the Scottish Parliament over taxation and expenditure in Scotland are changing. This chapter sets out the amount of public sector revenue and expenditure currently devolved and how this is changing with the implementation of the Scotland Act 2016.
The table below sets out revenue raised in Scotland from taxes currently devolved to the Scottish Parliament. Total devolved tax revenue in 2019-20 was estimated to reach £17,673 million.
Since 2017-18, power over non-saving non-dividend income tax has been devolved to the Scottish Parliament. HMRC has put in place new infrastructure to identify Scottish income tax payers and tax revenue since 2016-17, and this provides an important new statistical source in GERS. However, it also creates a discontinuity in the income tax series in Table 4.1 as comparable data are not available for earlier years. As a result, the income tax estimates for 2015-16 marked with † are not directly comparable to the estimates for later years.
|Land and buildings transaction tax1
(devolved from 2015-16)
|Scottish landfill tax (devolved from 2015-16)2||147||149||148||149||119|
|Non-savings and non-dividend income tax liabilities (devolved from 2016-17)3||10,948†||10,719||10,916||11,378||11,677|
|Total devolved taxes||16,144||16,157||16,636||17,287||17,673|
1 Figures for 2015-16 onwards are from Revenue Scotland. Previous years are based on HMRC estimates
2 Figures for 2015-16 onwards are from Revenue Scotland. Previous years are based on ONS estimates
3 This table shows Scottish Rate of Income Tax liabilities rather than receipts. They are therefore calculated on a different basis to the estimates of total Scottish income tax receipts in Table 1.1. Figures for 2015-16 and earlier are based on the Survey of Personal Incomes. Figures for 2016-17 and 2017-18 are from HMRC accounts, and the figures for 2018-19 and 2019-20 are from the SFC forecast from February 2020.
Note: Shaded cells represent estimates for years when tax devolution has not occurred. These are not directly comparable to outturn data in other cells.
Further devolution of taxes is due to continue in the next few years, following the Scotland Act 2016. As these taxes are not yet devolved, the table below shows the estimated historical revenues from these taxes.
|Air passenger duty (date of devolution to be decided)||246||256||274||290||273|
|Aggregates levy (date of devolution to be decided)||53||63||57||57||57|
As well as devolving tax powers to the Scottish Government, 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. The transition period for VAT assignment began on 1 April 2019.
Table 4.3 shows the VAT that would have been assigned to Scotland under this approach, consistent with the latest published estimates of Scottish Assigned VAT (see Box 1.2).
|VAT assignment (from 2019-20)||4,808||4,823||5,268||5,567||5,507|
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. The net impact on Scottish Government funding will depend in part on how the block grant received by the Scottish Government is adjusted to reflect the devolution of new revenue streams. This adjustment will be based in part on the relative growth in tax per head for each devolved tax in Scotland and the rest of the UK. Table 4.4 below shows tax per head for Scotland and the rest of the UK for each of the relevant taxes.
|£ per person|
|Scotland||Rest of UK|
Notes: Income tax refers to non-savings non-dividend income tax liabilities
† represents estimates for years when tax devolution has not occurred. These are not directly comparable to figures in other cells.
Income tax figures for 2019-20 for Scotland and the rest of the UK, are based on official forecasts from the Scottish Fiscal Commission and Office for Budget Responsibility respectively.
APD: air passenger duty
LBTT: Land and Buildings Transaction Tax for Scotland, compared to LBTT and stamp duties on property for the UK
AL: aggregates levy
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.
|Council tax reduction||344||332||327||331||340|
|Scottish welfare fund||33||35||33||35||38|
|Discretionary housing payments||49||52||59||62||66|
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.
|Disability living allowance||1,400||1,219||999||893||801|
|Winter fuel payment||181||178||176||173||171|
|Personal independence payment||318||552||930||1,138||1,332|
|Industrial injuries disablement benefit||87||84||82||82||82|
|Severe disablement allowance||51||22||12||10||9|
|Cold weather payment||3||1||22||10||29|
|Sure Start maternity grant2||3||3||2||2||-|
|Total expenditure on social security to be devolved||2,757||2,785||2,969||3,084||3,234|
Notes: 1 Carer’s Allowance was devolved to the Scottish Government on 3 September 2018. Figures here show spending as if continuing UK Government policies, as estimated by the SFC. It there excludes the new Carer’s Allowance Supplement introduced by the Scottish Government.
2 Sure Start maternity grant was replaced in Scotland by the Scottish Government’s Best Start Grant on 10 December 2018. Comparable spending figures are not available for 2019-20.
The fiscal framework agreement discussed above also covers the devolution of social security expenditure to the Scottish Government. The Scotland Act 2016 sets out that the final impact on the Scottish Government budget of devolution of these benefits will be determined through an adjustment to the Scottish block grant. For the Sure Start maternity grant and Funeral payments, a one-off adjustment will be made to the Scottish Government budget when they are devolved. For the other benefits. the adjustment made to the Scottish Government’s budget to reflect this additional spending responsibility will depend in part on the relative growth in expenditure per head for each newly devolved benefit in Scotland and the rest of GB.
Table 4.7 below shows expenditure per head for each of the relevant benefits for Scotland and the rest of Great Britain. For the majority of social security, expenditure per head is higher in Scotland than the rest of Great Britain, although overall the rate of growth in expenditure per head has been similar between Scotland and the rest of Great Britain since 2014-15 for each individual benefit.
|£ per person|
|Scotland||Rest of GB|
|Disability living allowance||260||225||184||164||147||204||176||142||122||108|
|Winter fuel payment||34||33||32||32||31||33||32||31||31||30|
|Personal independence payments||59||102||171||209||244||46||79||131||159||187|
|Industrial Injuries disability benefit||16||16||15||15||15||13||13||12||12||12|
|Severe disablement allowance||9||4||2||2||2||7||4||2||1||1|
|Cold weather payment||1||0||4||2||5||0||0||2||0||0|
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.
|Before Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016||After
Scotland Acts 2012 and 2016
|Non-saving non-dividend income tax liabilities (devolved from 2016-17)||-||11,677|
|Land and buildings transaction tax (devolved from 2015-16)||-||598|
|Scottish landfill tax (devolved from 2015-16)||-||119|
|Air passenger duty (date to be decided)||-||273|
|Aggregates levy (date to be decided)||-||57|
|Total devolved taxes||5,248||17,972|
|Devolved taxes as % of non-North Sea Scottish revenue||8%||28%|
|as % of revenue incl geographical share of North Sea revenue||8%||27%|
|Assigned VAT (in transition from 2019-20)||-||5,507|
|Total devolved and assigned taxes||5,248||23,479|
|Devolved and assigned taxes as % of non-North Sea Scottish revenue||8%||36%|
|as % of taxes incl geographical share of North Sea revenue||8%||36%|
|Devolved expenditure including housing benefit1 (HB)||48,147||51,381|
|Devolved taxes as % of estimated devolved expenditure||11%||35%|
|Devolved and Assigned taxes as % of estimated devolved expenditure||11%||46%|
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.
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