Scottish Draft Budget 2018-19
10 October 2017
Finance secretary Derek Mackay has confirmed that the Scottish Draft Budget will be published on 14 December 2017, some three weeks after the Autumn Budget on 22 November.
In keeping with last year’s process, the Budget Bill timetable has been amended to provide additional time for Parliament to scrutinise the budget proposals.
Welcoming the recommendations of the Budget Process Review Group, Mr Mackay agreed that publishing the Scottish Budget prior to the UK Budget would be ‘counter-productive’ due to the levels of economic and fiscal uncertainty.
In early September the finance secretary asked opposition parties for confirmation of their proposals for income tax policy in Scotland, in order for them to be included in a discussion paper. It is the Scottish Government’s intention that the paper will inform discussions on taxation that may enable a consensus position to emerge.
The paper will set out the current distribution of income tax liabilities in Scotland, analyse a variety of policy options, explain the interaction between tax policy and the fiscal framework, consider the trade-offs involved in making any proposed changes, any interactions with HMRC and the DWP and provide international comparisons.
The paper is due to be published ahead of the 2018/19 draft budget on 14 December so we should be given an early indication of the planned income tax rates and thresholds for next year.