Date depends on Brexit

Mackay names date of Scottish Budget…pending Brexit

Derek Mackay delivers budget 12 Dec

Derek Mackay: pinch of salt

Scottish Finance Secretary Derek Mackay has pencilled in 12 December to deliver his Scottish Budget.

Mr Mackay has informed Holyrood’s Finance Committee of his preferred date for setting out the Scottish Government’s financial statement for the year ahead.

However, it will depend on Westminster holding a Budget in the next two months which in turn is tied in with the Brexit negotiations and the possibility of a General Election.

Mr Mackay said last month that without the tax announcements and economic forecasts of a UK Budget the Scottish Government will not have clarity on funding for 2020-21.

Ahead of Chancellor Sajid Javid’s spending statement on 4 September Mr Mackay said that without these forecasts “any announcements on funding for Scotland must be taken with a pinch of salt.”

With Westminster still embroiled in the Brexit impasse, the UK government is unable to fix the date of its own Budget which may be delayed until early next year.

The Welsh Assembly is understood to be going ahead with its Budget on 19 November. It traditionally unveils an indicative Budget prior to the UK statement, followed by a final Budget afterwards.

However, the Welsh Government has fewer devolved powers and is more closely aligned to the UK tax system.

Although it has some powers over tax, including the capacity to vary income tax, the Welsh Government Government has set the Welsh rates for 209/20 at the same level as in England and Northern Ireland.

Among the submissions to Mackay, the Scottish Retail Consortium has called for greater certainty into fiscal plans coupled with decisive action to reduce business taxes and boost consumer spending.

The SRC is a two-year Budget Accord with Opposition parties, restoration of the level playing field with England on the large business rates supplement, a timetabled plan to reduce the headline business rate, no increases in income tax rates, and a retail strategy co-produced with the industry.

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