Draft Budget 2017-18 (Timetable)

Part of the debate – in the Scottish Parliament on 4th October 2016.

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Photo of Derek Mackay Derek Mackay Scottish National Party

I will make further progress, and then I will take an intervention.

The changes over the next few years will take us to a position in which more than 50 per cent of our budget will be funded directly from taxation. The arrival of those new powers necessitates a long-overdue and essential reform of the budget process, as opposed to further minor adjustments. I welcome the work that is now being undertaken on that joint approach, and I am very supportive of the establishment of the joint working group to look at the budget process with that external advice.

It is important to ensure that we develop a process that balances the time that is required for proportionate and effective parliamentary scrutiny with the need to ensure that the information that is being scrutinised is as accurate as possible and based on the most up-to-date forecast information.

I reiterate my willingness to provide the committee with additional strategic information to assist committees in preparing for the autumn statement and the draft budget. On 7 September I offered to provide further work on updated economic financial modelling, which could provide analysis that demonstrates the impact that changes in economic performances would have on the Scottish budget.

I can go on further about the detail that the committee requested, but I certainly intend to honour the commitment that was made to the committee on providing further information. What I cannot do is provide a draft spending plan and budget—that would be a draft budget—but I will hold true to what I promised the committee.

I am happy to take Patrick Harvie’s intervention.