'More detail needed' for Scottish Government resource spending review

A committee has said more detail on the economic and political context of the review is needed.

Committee calls for more detail into consultation on Scottish Government resource spending review iStock

More detail is needed in the Scottish Government’s consultation on its resource spending review, a committee of MSPs has said.

A consultation document published in December 2020 is intended to form the basis for the government’s first resource spending review since 2011.

Resource spending is described as the money used to fund administration and the day-to-day delivery of services and programmes, such as school meals, concessionary bus passes and most public sector staff salaries.

Holyrood’s Finance and Public Administration Committee says more detail on the economic and political context of the review is needed.

It says demographic challenges which have affected tax forecasts should be considered.

Committee convener Kenneth Gibson said: “Our committee believes that more detail on the full economic and political situation within which the spending review is being undertaken would have been helpful in providing more context and transparency to the actions being considered.

“This is particularly important in times of significant pressure on public finances where difficult decisions and reprioritisation of spending choices may be required to ensure that public finances in Scotland remain on a stable footing.”

Gibson continued: “Our recent budget scrutiny highlighted demographic challenges and the trends behind the relative deterioration in income tax receipts forecast by the Scottish Fiscal Commission in December 2021.

“We plan to return to this issue of how to grow the tax base as part of our pre-budget scrutiny starting in May and will report to the Scottish Government on this matter later in the year.

“In the meantime, we believe that these important issues should be reflected within the context of this spending review.”

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