Investing in Scotland's Future: resource spending review framework

This framework document launches the Scottish Government's resource spending review process. It sets the scene for the development of multi-year resource spending plans and opens our public consultation.

Executive Summary

This framework document launches the Scottish Government’s first multi-year Resource Spending Review since 2011. The aim is to set out spending plans for the remainder of the parliamentary term which support the Scottish Government’s ambitions. Our review focuses on resource spending plans. Resource spending is money that is spent on administration and the day-to-day delivery of services and programmes, such as school meals, concessionary bus passes and most public sector staff salaries.

The Framework sets the scene for the development of these spending plans and opens our public consultation. The intention is to publish multi-year spending plans in May 2022 to provide our delivery partners and businesses, communities and individuals across Scotland with some certainty on which to base their own forward planning.

The Resource Spending Review will build on the Capital Spending Review that we published earlier this year. Together these two spending reviews will give a comprehensive picture of Scotland’s multi-year public spending plans.

The Resource Spending Review Framework has been produced as part of a suite of Scottish Government fiscal publications, including the 2022-23 Scottish Budget, 2021 Medium-Term Financial Strategy and our Public Sector Pay Policy.

It also sits within a wider landscape of devolved taxes and spending that together play an integral role in the funding of the public services we all rely on. Notably, the forthcoming publication of Scotland’s first Framework for Tax will provide a solid foundation from which the design and delivery of devolved tax policy can be based - supporting the recovery, national outcomes and the pursuit of a fairer, greener and more prosperous Scotland for everyone.

Chapter 1 provides the context for the Resource Spending Review and introduces our mission and the core priorities that will inform the process. This chapter also provides an overview of the budgetary framework that the Scottish Government operates within.

Chapter 2 details the fiscal and economic context for the Resource Spending Review. In this chapter, we outline the potential funding scenarios and a set of spending scenarios. Our spending scenarios consider a range of factors that may create additional pressure on the public sector, including demographic change. The layering of the funding and spending scenarios provides an insight into the potential challenges of Scotland’s public finances over the coming years and underlines the need for careful planning.

Chapter 3 provides an overview of our proposed approach to the Resource Spending Review, including the principles of our approach alongside some initial opportunities that have been identified.

Chapter 4 outlines our engagement approach, including who we will engage with and how. This consultative approach is at the heart of the Resource Spending Review. We have included engagement questions throughout this document and details of how to respond can be found in this chapter.

Our annex provides the engagement questions that will be deployed in our consultation in one place.



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