This is the first year of a revised budget process following the adoption of a new written agreement between the Scottish Government and the Finance and Constitution Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The revised budget process moves from presenting a separate Draft Budget (in December) and Budget Bill Supporting Document (in January) to this single merged document. This new Scottish Budget document is designed to provide both the necessary financial information required to support parliamentary scrutiny of Scottish Government spending plans within the limits of the available budget, and to set out the supporting information for the Budget (Scotland) Bill 2018, which will now be laid before Parliament by the Scottish Government in December 2018.
This document details the budgets on an HM Treasury basis (in line with the Draft Budget documents of previous years), which allows year-on-year comparison of spending plans. However, there are a number of presentational adjustments required to align budgets for the purposes of the Budget Bill. Where these are necessary these have been detailed in each portfolio chapter. The portfolio chapters are arranged in order of Total Managed Expenditure for the portfolio. Each chapter provides a detailed analysis of the proposed plans on a portfolio by portfolio basis. For each portfolio and directly funded body, the portfolio chapter shows:
- the proposed portfolio budget split in terms of resource, non-cash, capital, Financial Transactions and UK funded AME (Annually Managed Expenditure) resources, with any adjustments for the purposes of Scottish Parliament approval separately detailed; and
- details of the proposed budget for each individual Level 2 activity.
Annex F provides further detail on the reconciliation of the portfolio spending allocations as set out in this document with the Budget Bill, showing the overall resource authorisations sought in the Budget Bill at portfolio level, and the cash equivalents. The numbers shown in these Annex F summary tables will read across to the numbers shown on the face of the Bill.
The purpose of the Bill itself is to secure Parliamentary approval to the Scottish Government’s spending plans for the financial year 2019-20. The Bill does not seek approval of the tax measures in this document as these are subject to separate legislation.
This document itself has no statutory force – it is produced as an aid to understanding the Budget. It is the aim of the Scottish Government to present a budget to the Scottish Parliament with a clear read-across to the Scottish Government’s Consolidated Annual Accounts.
The Scottish Government continues to discuss with the Finance and Constitution Committee and others how it can improve the presentation of supporting information for the Budget, and which material is found to be most useful.