Investing in Scotland's Future: Resource Spending Review

The Resource Spending Review is a public finance document. It sets out the high-level parameters for resource spending to 2026-27 and outlines our high-level spending plans to deliver our Programme for Government and Bute House commitments.

5. Next Steps

We are publishing this Resource Spending Review in highly uncertain times, with high inflation, the situation in Ukraine, and the recovery from COVID-19 and ongoing impacts of EU Exit making the fiscal and economic outlook extremely volatile. We can only respond to this within our limited powers and resources. This will have an impact on the choices that need to be made in future Budgets over the remainder of the parliament.

Increasing demand on public services in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic and demographic pressures mean that wider reform that improves service delivery and outcomes now and plans for the future will be necessary. Successful delivery of what Scotland needs will also rest on the public sector coming together to drive efficiencies across all parts of how we work, supported by strong leadership from Scottish Government.

Within that context, this Resource Spending Review, alongside the refreshed capital spending plans, provides more clarity for public bodies, other delivery partners, businesses, communities and households about the Government's forward spending plans. It sets out how we will seek to prioritise our spending to give capacity for the Scottish Government and our partners to deliver the ambitious programme for Scotland set out in last year's Programme for Government and the Bute House Agreement.

It offers a framework for working in partnership across the public sector and with others delivering public services to scope out reform of the public sector landscape. This will include considering the options for achieving more efficient delivery of services and how we can best face, in consultation with trade union partners, the shared challenge of reflecting cost of living challenges in public sector pay while operating within current fiscal constraints. As we take this more detailed work forward, we will undertake equality and other relevant impact assessments to inform the options considered and decisions reached.

The Scottish Government is already acting during 2022-23 to respond to the acute and very immediate challenges for households and businesses. The spending review sets out how we will build on that action, to address poverty and lead the transition to a flourishing low carbon economy.

In this challenging context, anchoring our spending decisions more routinely in the medium term will be critical to ensuring we improve the sustainability of our public finances. We will look to work with our stakeholders and delivery partners to identify ways to develop this over this parliament and as we approach each Scottish Budget.

The spending review commits the Scottish Government and public sector bodies to a range of approaches to the management of the public sector pay bill and workforce, reform and efficiency, innovation and collaboration, and structural changes. Through this comprehensive approach, which will span all government portfolios, the Scottish Government's ambition is to lead lasting change that will deliver better outcomes and ensure the sustainability of Scotland's public finances.

This programme will be undertaken over the remainder of the parliament, with initial outcomes to be reported in the 2023-24 Scottish Budget, underpinned by delivery plans to be produced by individual public bodies.



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