8.1. This financial strategy describes the Fiscal Framework, policy environment and spending pressures that the Scottish Government and its public services face over the next five years, and the financial consequences that arise from specific policy interventions.
8.2. The data and modelling that underpin this document are based on the information available in May 2018 and will be subject to change as new and updated information becomes available.
8.3. This forward look does not set out any new decisions or policy commitments, particularly in relation to the public sector, and only seeks to explore and explain the range of factors and variables which require consideration by the Scottish Government when making financial decisions and undertaking longer-term budget planning.
8.4. There are a number of strategies available to be adopted to meet the financial challenges ahead and these will include:
- continuing our core focus of growing the economy and our tax base;
- securing additional or increased revenues and income to support the overall budget;
- reprioritising expenditure in areas across the budget; and/or
- reforming how public services are delivered across Scotland in a manner that maintains or improves outcomes in ways that moderate future demand pressures on these services.
8.5. The use of each of these options will be actively considered and explored by the Scottish Government as it develops the 2019-20 budget and those that follow.
8.6. Consideration of the key aspects of this document and the options available to address the financial circumstances that we face are relevant not only for the current Scottish Government (and for any future Scottish Government), but also for the Scottish Parliament as a whole as it undertakes its scrutiny of Government decisions.
8.7. The next major considerations of spending will be made by:
- the Scottish Government as it develops the 2019-20 Scottish Budget; and
- the Scottish Parliament in undertaking its budget scrutiny during 2018 and when it considers the 2019-20 Scottish Budget later this year.
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