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Freeports and DRS on agenda for Jack scrutiny

Alister Jack
Alister Jack: faces MPs

Scottish Secretary Alister Jack and senior UK government officials will face questions from the Scottish Affairs Committee on the work of the Scotland Office.

Monday’s scrutiny session is likely to hear questions on intergovernmental relations, Scotland’s public finances, green freeports and the deposit return scheme. 

John Lamont and Lord Offord of Garvel, Parliamentary Under Secretaries of State, and Lyn McDonald, temporary director at Scotland Office, will also be quizzed.

The inflation figure for April is released on Wednesday after coming in higher than expected for the last couple of months, thanks to advances in the price of food and hotels and despite a fall in the cost of fuel on the garage forecourts.

Analysts believe the annual rate of price rises will fall back into single digits for the first time in eight months, coming in at 8.4% from 10.1% in March.

Also on Wednesday energy company SSE reveals full-year figures and the dividend will be among the points of interest for investors. The Perth-based company has targeted last year’s payment of 85.7p plus an increase equal to retail price index inflation and analysts have pencilled in 96p a share.

SSE reports on Wednesday

For fiscal 2024, however, SSE is cutting the dividend to 60p to help fund the development of its portfolio of renewable assets. Thereafter the plan is to grow that figure by around 5% a year.

Investment platform AJ Bell notes that the shares are broadly unchanged over the past year, but that does mean they are trading near an all-time high after a big rally since last autumn

On Thursday the Scottish Government will outline its medium term financial strategy and Ofgem is expected to announce that household energy bills will fall by about a fifth when it confirms the latest energy price cap.

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