Draft budget to be unveiled on December 15

Finance Secretary Derek Mackay told MSPs that, subject to parliamentary approval, the Scottish Government’s 2017-18 Draft Budget will be introduced to the Scottish Parliament on December 15.

The Scottish Government said that given the impact of the UK vote to leave the EU and changes to the UK Government’s financial plans, the Scottish Government’s budget is dependent on the outcome of Westminster’s November autumn statement.

Mackay said: “As I have already said, I welcome the finance committee’s recognition that the fiscal and economic uncertainty caused by the outcome of the EU referendum necessitates a later publication of the Draft Budget.

“I recognise that moving to a post-Autumn Statement publication date would represent a change to previous years, however, this change is necessary to ensure that effective scrutiny of the Draft Budget by parliament can take place.

“That is why it is my intention to publish the Scottish Government’s draft budget for 2017-18 on Thursday 15th December.

“This date also supports the view from the previous finance committee to the devolution committee that ‘there is a strong argument that the forecasts should be prepared as near as possible to the start of the financial year to which they apply’.”