This is the second year of a revised budget process following the adoption in 2018 of a new written agreement between the Scottish Government and the Finance and Constitution Committee of the Scottish Parliament. The revised budget process now presents a single Scottish Budget document designed both to provide 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.
This document details portfolio budgets on an HM Treasury basis (in line with last year's document and the Draft Budget documents for earlier years), which allows year-on-year comparison of spending plans.
The portfolio chapters are arranged in the same order used in last year's document. Each chapter provides a detailed analysis of the proposed plans on a portfolio-by-portfolio basis. For each portfolio and arm's length body, the portfolio chapter shows:
- the proposed portfolio budget for fiscal resource, non-cash, fiscal capital, Financial Transactions and UK-funded AME (Annually Managed Expenditure), 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 E 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 the summary tables in Annex E will read across to the numbers shown on the face of the Bill.
The purpose of the Bill itself is to secure Scottish Parliament approval for the Scottish Government's spending plans for the financial year 2020-21. The Bill does not seek approval of the tax measures in this document as these are subject to separate legislation and parliamentary procedure.
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.