Decision to go early

Mackay to deliver Scottish Budget ahead of Chancellor’s statement

Derek Mackay

Clarity: Derek Mackay (pic: Terry Murden)

Derek Mackay has announced that the Scottish Government’s Budget will be published on 6 February, five weeks before the Chancellor delivers his own Budget in the Commons.

It comes after the UK Government confirmed its Budget would be delayed until 11 March.

Mr Mackay, who had hinted at an earlier Budget in an interview with Daily Business last week, said today: “The timing of the UK Budget made it impossible for us to publish our own budget after the UK Government’s without drastically restricting the time for parliamentary scrutiny.

“In these exceptional circumstances, created by the UK Government, it is vital we give local authorities and public services clarity on their budgets.

“That is why we have made the decision to publish our budget in February which will allow local authorities to set their budgets and council tax before the legal deadline of 11 March.

“I look forward to publishing a budget that will help tackle the global climate emergency, reduce child poverty and boost the economy.

“We will work closely with the Scottish Parliament to agree a timetable for the Budget Bill to allow for maximum scrutiny while ensuring certainty for Scotland’s vital public services.”

Mr Mackay had preferred to deliver his Budget after the Chancellor, Sajid Javid, in order to have greater clarity on tax setting and funds available.

However, it had been expected that Mr Javid would announce his Budget no later than next month in order to give the Scottish parliament time to scrutinise its own statement.

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